Fair and Huh? Fox News Anchor Tells Trump Shill that She “Needs to Go on the Offensive’

The evidence that Fox News is just Donald Trump’s in-house propaganda ministry keeps growing with each new day. The network seems to have no bottom with regard to blatantly biased support for, and adulation of, Dear Leader. And the argument that they have two separate types of programs – one that is opinion based, and one that is “news,” is repudiated on a regular basis by their own reporting.

Fox News Fair and Balanced

America’s Newsroom on Fox News is supposed to be one of their allegedly “straight” news shows. However, on Friday’s edition of the program Mercedes Schlapp, Trump’s White House director of strategic communications (whatever that is), was interviewed. The discussion included a question about the “contentious moment between Sarah Sanders and Jim Acosta of CNN.” That was when Acosta asked Sanders to acknowledge that the media is not the enemy of the people. Sanders pointedly refused to to do sotwice. And now Schlapp was being given another opportunity to set the record straight. But instead, she said this (video below):

“Fake news is dangerous. We know for a fact that many of these so-called news reporters go out there have a complete disdain for President Trump. It’s no wonder that we’ve seen that 90% of the media coverage for President Trump has been negative.”

Schlapp went on to whine about how Trump and company are helpless victims who have been mercilessly attacked by the all-powerful media. Poor babies. She cited blistering assaults with examples that they have been “called names” by journalists. Gee, Trump would never do anything so unspeakably hideous, would he? And to this pitiful rant, Fox’s host, Bill Hemmer (who is rumored to be a candidate to succeed Sanders as press secretary) said:

“I don’t think you should be defensive about this. You need to go on offense. And I know that’s a big part of why you came on today.”

Then they all had a good laugh when Hemmer asked Schlapp if she was “tired of winning.” What we have here is the Fox News anchor advising the Trump shill to be more offensive, as if that were possible. Just Thursday night at his cult assembly in Pennsylvania, Trump himself escalated his war on the press by calling them the “disgusting fake news,” and “horrendous people.”

Hemmer’s not-so-subtle coaching of Schlapp may have been an attempt to add a new clip to his audition reel for the job at the White House. After all, he’s facing stiff competition from three other Fox Newsers: Heather Nauert (currently stationed at Trump’s State Department), Kimberly Guilfoyle (Don Jr’s new girlfriend who was recently terminated by Fox for sexual misconduct), and Tony Sayegh (now on duty at Trump’s Treasury Department).

This abundance of candidates all from the same network shouldn’t surprise anyone. Trump spends much his day watching Fox News and is advised regularly by people like Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Lou Dobbs, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. Plus his brand, spanking new Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications is former Fox News president, Bill Shine. He was also recently jettisoned by the network for enabling and covering up the sexual misconduct of big shots like Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly. So Hemmer would fit in nicely with this wholesome group of cretins, don’t you think?

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

Hey Ivanka: Trump’s Press Sec Sarah Sanders Refused to Deny that the Press is the Enemy of the People

The crusade by Donald Trump and his administration to malign and endanger journalists continues in full force Thursday morning with what might otherwise have been a routine daily press briefing. What needs to be noted first, however, is that the White House press briefings are never really routine anymore, and they certainly are not daily. They held five briefings during the month of June, and only three in July.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump

During Thursday briefing, CNN’s Jim Acosta had to interrupt in order to be recognized because Trump’s censorious communications office has virtually blacklisted him. But he managed to get a question out that has particular significance to the media. Earlier in the day press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was interviewed by NPR. She was told about Ivanka Trump’s statement, in direct disagreement with her father, that she did not think that the media is “the enemy of the American people.” Sanders was asked to state her own position on the matter, but she conspicuously dodged the question with whining about how she and Trump were subject to criticism, poor things. So Acosta gave her another chance to provide a clear answer (video below):

Acosta: “I think that it would be a good thing if you were to say right here at this briefing that the press, the people that are gathered in this room right now doing their jobs every day, asking questions of officials like the ones you brought forward earlier, are not the enemy of the people. I think we deserve that.”
Sanders: I think that the President has made his position known. I also think it’s ironic … that not only you and the media attack the President for his rhetoric when they frequently lower the level of conversation in this country. Repeatedly the media resorts to personal attacks without any content other than to incite anger. The media has attacked me personally on a number of occasions.

So it’s the media that is lowering the level of conversation, not Trump’s infantile insults and boorish hostility? Sanders was merely repeating her dodge with the same laments about how she has been the victim all along. She then rattled off a series of examples of the media being mean. The problem is that none of them were examples of media behavior. She said that ICE officials were not welcome at their churches; that a comedian (Michelle Wolf) made some jokes about her; that she required Secret Service protection. The media didn’t do any of that. But regardless, she blamed the media for those inconveniences and slithered out of answering the question. So Acosta followed up:

Acosta: Sarah, if I may follow up. You did not say in the course of those remarks that you just made that the press is not the enemy of the people. Are we to take it, from what you just said – we all get put through the ringer, we all get put through the meat grinder in this town, and you’re no exception, and I’m sorry that happened to you. I wish that that had not happened. But for the sake of this room, the people who are in this room, this democracy, this country, all the people around the world are watching what you’re saying, Sarah. And the White House of the United States of America, the president of the United States should not refer to us as the enemy of the people. His own daughter acknowledges that and all I’m asking you to do, Sarah is to acknowledge that right now and right here.
Sanders: I appreciate your passion. I share it. I addressed this question. I addressed my personal feelings. I’m here to speak on behalf of the President. He’s made his comments clear.

So there you have it. She brushed off the question again, leaving the world to conclude that she repudiates Ivanka’s statement and remains aligned with Daddy’s Stalinist opposition to the First Amendment of the Constitution. What’s more, she asserts that the prior statements against the press by Trump and company were “clear” and still his policy toward journalists who are just doing their jobs. And it will remain his position until some reporter gets killed by a StormTrumper who thinks he’s carrying out the orders of Dear Leader to eliminate the enemy.

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

UPDATE: Trump’ latest tweet on the subject:

So he still thinks a “large percentage” of the media is the enemy. And that includes any media that doesn’t suck up to him (i.e. Fox News). So what’s the difference?

Shepard Smith of Fox News Untangles the ‘Patently False’ Lies of Trump re: the Russia Probe

It’s getting harder and harder to figure out why Fox News is allowing Shepard Smith to remain on the air. In the recent past he has made a some startlingly harsh condemnations of Donald Trump that were rooted in actual facts. You know, the sort of information that Fox News struggles to suppress for the other twenty-three hours of the day. It’s the sort of honest reporting that is contradicted by Fox’s primetime shills Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Tucker Carlson.

Fox News, Shepard Smith, Donald Trump

On Wednesday Smith launched into an explanation for Trump’s latest tweetstorm that railed against Robert Mueller’s Russian collusion hoax rigged scam witch hunt (did I get them all in?). Aside from exposing his palpable fear and desperation, Trump is piling up more lies that now even Fox News is finding it hard to excuse. Smith began his take-down of Trump (video below) with an introduction that summed things up nicely saying that:

“The White House today echoed President Trump’s false tweet claiming that the [Steele] dossier was the foundation of the special counsel, Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.”

Then Smith played a clip of press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders at today’s press briefing saying that “the entire investigation is based off of a dirty, discredited dossier.” Notice that Sanders has adopted Trump’s speaking patterns. Smith followed that by displaying Trump’s tweet saying that the “rigged witch hunt” by “17 angry Democrats” and “started by a “fraudulent dossier” was “an illegal scam.” You have to give him credit for stuffing so many inane cliches into a single tweet. But it’s Smith who really gets credit for having the courage to tell the truth on Fox News to their audience of glassy-eyed Deplorables:

“in the main, and in its part, that statement is patently false. According to the Republican majority on the House Intelligence Committee, the feds started the Russia investigation in July of 2016, after then-Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos told an Australian diplomat that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton. The diplomat then gave that information over to the FBI.

“And while the U.S. intelligence community has not confirmed parts of the dossier, there are elements of it that are confirmed true. No part of it, to Fox News’ knowledge, has been confirmed false. The special counsel, Robert Mueller, is a registered Republican. The Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, is also a Republican. The Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, who swore in Rosenstein, is also a Republican. President Trump, a Republican, appointed Sessions [and Rosenstein too].

“The dossier is 35 pages of research memos Christopher Steele wrote during the 2016 campaign. He’s a former British intelligence agent. A research firm called Fusion GPS compiled the memos. They alleged conspiracies between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to help Mr. Trump win the election over Hillary Clinton.”

If just a small bit of this actually got through to Fox News viewers it might have a discernible impact on the nation’s collective ability to recognize the truth. But most of this won’t even get through to Hannity or the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. It’s a sad commentary on the depth of the delusion that the Trump Cult has spread across Republican America. These cretins are actually supportive of Russia’s interference in our democracy. So why would they be bothered by Trump issuing tweet commands to his A.G. to stop the Mueller probe?

In response to that tweet Sanders told the press corps this afternoon that Trump was just expressing his “opinion,” and that it wasn’t an order directed at Sessions. She had to downplay it in this way because otherwise it would be unambiguously obstruction of justice. In fact, it still is. If your boss said that you should stop working on some terrible project right now, would you consider that only his opinion and that you could ignore it? If Trump succeeds in coercing Sessions to stop the Mueller probe it’s just more evidence of his intent to illegally interfere with the administration of justice. And, by the way, there are way more than 17 angry Democrats. There’s at least 65 million (more than voted for Trump), plus a few sane Republicans who can’t stomach his treason.

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

Goebbels Redux: White House Bans CNN Reporter Because She Asked Trump Some Questions

On Wednesday Donald Trump held an impromptu photo-op with Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission. This is the same European Union that Trump recently cited first when asked when to identify America’s “biggest foe.” He later added China and Russia as if they were afterthoughts. But now he was meeting with our EU foe’s president in the Oval Office.

Donald Trump, CNN

As the event drew to a close, Kaitlan Collins of CNN threw out some questions for Trump, just as reporters always do at these affairs. She was representing the television news community as the pool reporter for the day. Her questions were focused on subjects that were currently topical and that Trump himself was addressing to reporters and on his communications platform of choice, Twitter. Specifically, she asked about the release of Micheal Cohen’s recoreded conversations with Trump and Trump’s invitation to Vladimir Putin for a meeting at the White House. Trump often answers such questions in this setting, but on this occasion he chose not to.

Immediately thereafter, Collins was called into the office of Bill Shine, the former Fox News president who is now Trump’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications. Shine was fired by Fox for his enabling of the network’s sexual predators, including Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly. Now he performs the same services for Trump. But as Trump’s chief media staffer he wanted to see Collins to tell her that she would be barred from covering the next event on the President’s calendar, a Rose Garden Q & A with Juncker. According to CNN, Collins arrived at Shine’s office and then:

Shine and press secretary Sarah Sanders met Collins there. “They said ‘You are dis-invited from the press availability in the Rose Garden today,'” Collins said in an interview. “They said that the questions I asked were inappropriate for that venue. And they said I was shouting.”

A video clip of the exchange shows that Collins was speaking the same way journalists in the press pool usually speak.

Collins said she reacted by saying, “You’re banning me from an event because you didn’t like the questions I asked.”

Collins is only partly right. It is not insignificant that the reporter who was banned for doing something all reporters do works for CNN. Trump routinely maligns the press as being “sick,” and “sleazy,” and “the enemy of the American people.” But he frequently singles out CNN as being “the worst” of them all. So the banning of a credentialed CNN reporter is not a random incident. It is a retaliation.

What’s worse is that this sort of sanction is intended to send a message to the rest of the press corps. Either behave the way we want you to, or be banished from the White House and other presidential events. It’s notable that even Fox News issued a statement criticizing the White House and expressing solidarity with CNN. Although Fox host Lou Dobbs wasn’t on board with that, praising Collin’s punishment by saying that “it’s about time there were consequences.” As for the White House, they released a statement saying that:

“At the conclusion of a press event in the Oval Office a reporter shouted questions and refused to leave despite repeatedly being asked to do so. Subsequently, our staff informed her she was not welcome to participate in the next event, but made clear that any other journalist from her network could attend. […] To be clear, we support a free press and ask that everyone be respectful of the presidency and guests at the White House.”

So Donald Trump is demanding that the press be “respectful” of him? The same guy who menacingly points to the journalists pen at his rallies, calling them “liars” and “horrible people,” and whipping up the hostility of his crazed followers? The guy who has proposed revoking the credentials of any reporter who is less than doe-eyed adoring? The guy who tries to undermine independent news operations by falsely smearing them as “failing” or criminal? Now he thinks they should be respectful, by which he means unquestioning sycophants?

The media is doing their job just as they have done for decades. And that has caused other administrations to have uncomfortable relationships with them. But this administration has gone further than any other to upend the very notion of press freedom. And if this is their idea of supporting a free press, they have a severe problem with the definition of “free press.” It doesn’t include bullying a woman from a network that you’ve already designated as your enemy. By abusing power in this manner the Trump administration has proven once again that they are intent on emulating the tyrannical governments of Putin and Kim Jong Un who Trump seems to admire so much. But he’s going to find out that America’s Constitution is stronger than his desire to suppress the freedom of the press.

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

Trump is Threatening to Punish Former Obama Officials for Exercising Their Free Speech Rights

The president who has been the most hostile to the First Amendment of any president in history is accelerating his attack on the Constitution. Donald Trump’s latest threats toward his critics should frighten all Americans, not just those unlucky enough to be in his crosshairs at the moment. And he’s doing it for the most flagrantly political reasons.

Donald Trump Censorship

At the White House press briefing Monday morning (only the third one in July so far), Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded to a question about Sen. Rand Paul’s request that Trump revoke the security credentials of former CIA director, John Brennan. Paul alleged, without proof, that Brennan was “monetizing his security clearance” and “divulging secrets to the mainstream media.” Sanders replied with a prepared statement that went even further (video below):

“Not only is the president looking to take away Brennan’s security clearance, he’s also looking into the security clearances of Comey, Clapper, Rice, Hayden, and McCabe.”

Note that these all are national security professionals who served at least part of their tenures in the Obama administration. Note also that they have been outspoken critics of the President. There has been no discussion of revoking security clearances for Sean Spicer, Rex Tillerson, or Reince Priebus (if they ever had any). Sanders continued reading her statement:

“The President is exploring the mechanisms to remove security clearance because they politicized, and in some cases monetized, their public service and in some cases security clearance making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia, or being influenced by Russia against the President is extremely inappropriate. And the fact that people with security clearances are making the baseless charges provides inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence.”

No one has politicized and monetized their public service more than Donald Trump. He uses his Twitter account to post brazenly partisan political messages including defenses of his collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice. Furthermore, he posts his robo-endorsements of Republican candidates for Congress. He also promotes his visits to his golf resorts and other properties he owns where he profits from both government expenditures and private reservations from corporations and foreign dignitaries seeking to influence American policies.

The activities of the people Trump is threatening are standard expressions of opinion in the media by experts with the experience to comment intelligently. They are granted the right to have and express their opinions by the Constitution. And by having done so, they have now become the targets of Trump’s infantile and un-American wrath. It should be noted that in no case have any of these people disclosed any confidential information. The assertion that what they have said is “false” is just the unsupported opinion of Trump and his lackeys. But it wouldn’t matter if it is false. There is no prohibition on expressing a false opinion. If there were Fox News would be out of business. And Trump as well, for that matter.

Trump’s rabid aversion to free speech is well established. He repeatedly refers to the media in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.” And just this morning he rattled off a couple of tweets castigating the Washington Post for some peculiar and unexplained anti-trust violations. In fact, he’s only attacking them because he perceives them as critics. Which makes the assault an unambiguous breach of the First Amendment.

If Trump follows through on these threats, it would be an obvious attempt to silence his critics. And it would only add to the high crimes and misdemeanors that he is already guilty of, and that warrant his immediate impeachment and removal from office. As if his treasonous collusion with Russia, his obstruction of justice, his financial corruption, and his sexually predatory assaults on women weren’t enough.

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

Fox News Alert: Donald Trump Works Really Hard at Putting the White House in Total Disarray

Well, the rat is out of the bag. We finally have confirmation that Donald Trump’s White House is a swirling pit of ineptitude, staffed by morons who don’t know what the hell is going on. What’s more, they’re proud of it and they think it proves that they are dedicated overachievers. And these revelations are not insults thrown by partisan lefties. They’re straight from the horse’s ass: Fox News.

Jeanine Pirro Fox News

On Saturday’s episode of Justice with Judge Jeanine Pirro the “judge” hosted former Arkansas governor/Christianist minister, Mike Huckabee. In the course of their discussion, that was predictably bashing liberals, Huckabee decided to unveil some truths that are usually kept behind the dark curtain of rabid conservatism (video below). He said that:

“Here’s what I think people don’t understand about Donald Trump: he doesn’t sleep a lot, he works harder than anybody I’ve ever seen, he has so much going on that even his own staff cannot keep up with all that’s going on.

“I used to have a chief of staff and she would often say ‘If I know everything that’s going on, there’s not enough going on.’ Well let me assure you, in the Trump White House there is nobody that knows everything that’s going on because nobody can keep up with that much stuff.”

Is he kidding? This is Huckabee’s assessment of the laziest man in Washington. Trump has played golf for about a third of his presidency. He doesn’t attend or read his presidential daily briefings unless they have pictures or happy news about him. He refuses to prepare for critical events like summits with Kim Jong Un or Vladimir Putin. He holds meaningless photo-ops with his cabinet and for bill signings. He never seems to know about the corruption of his own senior staff. He wastes time traveling to friendly red states to hold ego-fluffing rallies. And he spends countless hours (his “Executive Time”) watching cable news. Mostly Fox News, of course, where he gets his intelligence reports, political strategies, policy updates from Sean Hannity.

What’s more, if it’s true that nobody knows what’s going on, then that only exposes the White House as incompetent and unable to fulfill its mission to serve the people. It also means that Huckabee’s own daughter, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is one of those who doesn’t know what’s going on. So how the hell can she inform the press of the administration’s activities? Not that she ever has any intention to.

We should probably be thankful to Huckabee for his candid assessment of a White House in disarray. That’s been painfully obvious to any conscientious observer, but we don’t often hear Trump’s insiders admitting it. Another word for not knowing what’s going is “ignorance.” And the ignorance of Trump’s staff is clearly not due to Trump’s allegedly dynamic schedule. It’s due to his own inability to comprehend the complexities of his job and his deliberate efforts to withhold pertinent information from more intelligent and experienced professionals. And that’s at least partly due to the need to keep his financial corruption and collusion with foreign enemies secret.

Much of Saturday’s program was consumed by Pirro whining about incivility in politics. That’s rich coming from perhaps the most vitriolic screecher on television. Pirro has been barking out contemptuous scorn at President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and every other left-of-center American for years. Just last week she complained about being “treated like a dog” by Whoopi Goldberg on The View. But she conveniently forget to mention that she called the whole cast of the show an epithet that rhymes with “sock cucker.” And then she has the nerve to say that:

“The level of hatred toward the 45th president of the United States is beyond anything we’ve seen in American history…Now Donald Trump is the target of vitriol so papable it’s simply frighten…It’s almost impossible to have a rational discussion that doesn’t turn into a food fight.”

Let’s just set aside that she appears to be drunk (“so papable it’s simply frighten”?) Her contention that Trump has been the victim of more vitriol than any other president is ludicrous. Barack Obama, who was accused of being the founder of ISIS and the Kenyan-born spawn of Satan, might have something to say about that. Or maybe John Kennedy or Abraham Lincoln, whose lives were cut short by rather vitriolic assassins.

Pirro had some help from her another guest on the program who was equally delusional about who in America is uncivil. Trump’s senior counsel, Kellyanne Conway showed up to assert that Trump “is a president who believes that diplomacy and conversation is better than hostility and conflict.” Seriously? The president who encouraged his supporters to assault protesters and opffered to pay their legal fees; who has disparaging and infantile nicknames for every opponent; and who goads unstable tyrants into nuclear confrontations? That president believes in diplomacy?

At least Pirro had a brief moment of self-awareness in the opning paragraphs of her new book, Liars, Leakers, and Liberals: The Case Against the Anti-Trump Conspiracy. She writes that “We know what the liberal media think of Trump voters: They’re deplorables, idiots, rednecks, and people who cling to God, guns, and religion. To those charges, I plead guilty–guilty and proud!” So Pirro is guilty, even proud, of being a deplorable, idiot, redneck. That explains a lot.

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

Fox News Message on Independence Day: Democrats Should ‘Think the Same Way’ Trump Does

There is much to reflect on concerning America on the day that it is celebrating its Independence. The principles embedded in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence are a continuing source of pride and a standard for goals that are still being pursued. As stipulated in the preamble to the Constitution, the endeavor to “form a more perfect Union” is one that never ends, and that each new generation must recommit to.

Sarah Huckabee-Sanders

On this particular Independence Day, however, there are immigrants – much like the ones who fled oppression from England – who are being incarcerated, with children being ripped from the arms of their parents. There is a President who cozies up to foreign dictators while insulting long-time allies. There are citizens who are castigated for exercising their civil rights. And Donald Trump has managed to drag the country down to the point where less than half (47%) of those polled say they are “extremely proud” to be American – a new low.

So to commemorate this day, Fox News brought Trump’s press secretary, surly Sarah Sanders, on to further divide the country and disparage anyone who dares to disagree with the President and his regressive agenda. And she surely didn’t disappoint the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends, or their cranky viewers (video below).

Sanders began innocently enough by saying that “people should be free to disagree” but then insisted that they should do it “in a way that is much nicer.” Because when confronting heinous evils like family separation, sabotaging healthcare, cutting Social Security, and selling out the country to Russia, politeness is paramount.

Sanders continued by defending herself against those who would criticize her by claiming that she would “continue to always treat people with respect.” Like she did with CNN’s Jim Acosta when she said he couldn’t “understand even short sentences.” Or like she did when she questioned the intelligence of NBC’s Hallie Jackson in an effort to avoid a question, telling Jackson that it “shows the lack of knowledge that you have.” But the most repugnant part of Sanders’ tirade was her flagrant disrespect for free thought on this day that celebrates Independence. Sanders implied that Democrats don’t want to make the country better, like the Trump administration (allegedly) does. And she has the solution:

“If Democrats start thinking about it the same way we are they’d be a lot better off. […] It’s a sad day in America for Democrats and the Democrat (sic) Party when their only message is one of intolerance and one of attacking people who love this country and are trying to do good things for it.”

So everyone should just start thinking like Donald Trump? God help us all. The fact that Sanders said three times in less than a minute that this Independence Day is “a sad day,” says a lot about her commitment to positive change. And the oft-repeated lie that Democrats have no message is proof that Republicans have no ears. How about expanding healthcare for all Americans? Or treating asylum seekers with respect and compassion? [Check out this startling video of Ronald Reagan’s thoughts on the matter]. Or reforming taxes so that the disadvantaged aren’t supporting the wealthy? Or protecting Americans from rampant gun violence? Or affirming the rights of women to control their own bodies? Or ending the scourge of unarmed African-Americans getting killed by police? Or stopping the undemocratic practices of gerrymandering and voter suppression?

Is that enough of a message for Sanders and Fox News? How about we add holding the President accountable for his criminal, and possibly traitorous, behavior in colluding with Russia to steal the election? Or his obvious efforts to obstruct justice? Or his financial corruption, self-dealing, and personal enrichment by exploiting his position? You think that would do it?

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

UPDATE: Fox News Senior Political Analyst, and former news anchor, Brit Hume, has joined the call to divide America on Independence Day. With a link to an extremist right-wing blog that said Democrats hate America, Hume tweeted his agreement saying that “they sure don’t love it.”

Trump Threatens Americans Who Disagree with Him in Slobbering Fox News Interview

On Sunday morning Fox News aired another in its long-running series, “Everybody Loves Donald,” wherein the the lead character, Donald Trump, is slathered in a tsunami of wet kisses by a hopelessly infatuated State TV hostess. It was as embarrassing an episode of propaganda as has ever been broadcast on American television. And it can hardly be called an interview since there wasn’t a single question that didn’t lavish praise on the President or lambaste his critics.

Fox News, Donald Trump, Maria Bartiromo

The love interest in this story is Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo, who used to be a financial reporter, but has fully transformed into a Class A Trump-fluffer. Her dialog with Trump could not have been more obsequious (look it up Donnie), as she endeavored to canonize the President and adoringly agree with every lie told. See if you can figure out why Trump loves Bartiromo so much.

During this tongue bath Trump said that “The European Union is possibly as bad as China.” And that “Everybody who bought a Harley-Davidson voted for Trump.” Really? Even the Hell’s Angels and the Mongols? He said that he believes Kim Jong Un’s promise to denuclearize North Korea, even though evidence shows he’s ramping up. When Trump says “There’s no Russia with me,” Bartiromo subserviently replies “I know.” When Trump, lying about the Democratic National Committee, says they “threw them [the FBI] out of the office,” Bartiromo dociley agrees. And she affirms Trump’s oft-repeated lie that Hillary Clinton disposed of subpoenaed emails.

But that was nothing. At one point during the love-fest, Trump and Bartiromo engaged in a conversation wherein Trump made an overt threat to any American citizen who dares to disagree with him (video below):

Bartiromo: Here we see your lovely press secretary getting asked to leave a restaurant. We see Peter Fonda, Robert De Niro having ‘Trump Syndrome.’ They’re going crazy. All of this vitriol in this country. As the commander-in-chief, as the President of this great country, what can you do to bring us together?

Oh, the poor beleaguered (and lovely) Sarah Sanders, an unabashed lie dispenser, has been the victim of naughty Hollywood actors going crazy. Bartiromo completely ignores the fact that Trump himself is the source of more vitriol than anyone currently in public life. The chat continues, but note that Trump never answers the question about how he would bring the country together. In fact, he goes the other way entirely with a not-so-subtle threat:

Trump: Well some of them do it for publicity, I hate to say it. Some of them do it for publicity. Now the Hen [It’s the Red Hen] restaurant I thought was terrible with Sarah, I thought it was terrible.
Bartiromo: It was awful.
Trump: I think some of the things that are said are terrible. And our people are so incredible. You know, there’s probably never been a base, in the history of politics in this country, a base like my base. I hope the other side realizes that they better just take it easy. They better just take it easy because some of the language used, some of the words used, even some of the radical ideas, I really think they are very bad for the country. I think they’re actually very dangerous for the country.
Bartiromo: And all the while you’re creating economic growth and you’re creating job opportunity.

Thanks, Maria, for inserting that non sequitur lie about the economy in response to Trump’s political intimidation. For Trump to imply that “the other side…better take it easy” blatantly suggests that there will be consequences if they don’t. And those consequences will be mete out by his historically unprecedented base. In fact, there are historical parallels to Trump’s base. They are often referred to as Brown Shirts, Storm Troopers, and now Republicans.

And thanks also to Donald Trump who, in response to a question about bringing people together, managed to send an undisguised message of hostility and potential violence. His battle warning to anyone who opposes him should make decent Americans cringe. But it should also make them mobilize for the upcoming election in November in order to insure a massive renunciation of Trump’s anti-American regime and his transparent aspirations for a brutal, totalitarian tyranny.

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

Trump Maligns the Red Hen Restaurant as ‘Filthy’, But It’s Cleaner Than Trump’s Foul Rattraps

True to form, Donald Trump is once again demonstrating why he is such a divisive and embarrassing figure. Following the incident where the Red Hen Restaurant in Lexington, Virginia asked Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, to leave, Sanders illegally tweeted her reaction. In the process she identified the restaurant, its location, and it’s owner. This made the business and its staff the target of vile assaults and death threats by outraged StormTrumpers.

Donald Trump Chicken

Sanders misrepresented the reason for her ouster as being because she works for the President. That’s not true. I t was because of her own support for discriminatory practices, mistreatment of immigrant children, and lying to the American people on a daily basis. There is reasonable debate over whether the restaurant should have asked her to leave, but there is no question that using her official Twitter account to call out the restaurant was a violation of federal ethics laws. And on Monday morning Donald Trump escalated that violation to the Oval Office by tweeting:

Technically, the ethics law that Sanders violated does not apply to the president or vice-president. They are specifically exempted for some reason. However the underlying ethics still apply. And Trump’s rabid outburst is further proof of his crudeness, dishonesty, and unfitness to serve. His intention is clearly to bring harm to a private business because of political differences. And it’s consistent with his sociopathic tendencies and lust for personal revenge.

What makes this even more disgusting is that Trump is maligning the Red Hen falsely. The restaurant has no outstanding violations of any health regulation. But Trump cannot say the same thing about his gross restaurants. The Daily Beast has compiled the rap sheet on Trump’s businesses. Here are a few excerpts:

The Red Hen “passed its most recent health inspection with flying colors. State authorities found no violations when they visited the restaurant in February, and gave the Red Hen their best possible health-risk rating.”

“In April, Washington D.C. inspectors visited the Trump International Hotel and found 10 health-code violations, including raw meat stored above ready-to-eat foods and containers of flour stored next to a hand sink that lacked a splash guard. Inspectors also found that the hotel was operating a number of on-site kitchens without city permits to do so. The hotel was given a ‘moderate risk’ rating based on that visit.

“Inspectors conducted a follow-up visit in May, and found that the Trump hotel had failed to comply with instructions to correct some of those violations, including the permitting issue. It maintained the “moderate risk” category.”

“BLT Prime, the steakhouse at Trump’s D.C. hotel, had many of the same issues. It was also given a ‘moderate risk’ rating in April, when inspectors recorded the same raw-meat storage issues as the hotel and a lack of signage in the kitchen instructing employees to wash their hands.”

“Trump’s Doral golf club outside Miami has fared even worse: Between its main kitchen, banquet hall, cafe, patio grill, and bungalows, inspectors have found 524 health-code violations since 2013, including a number that resulted in fines. Among inspectors’ findings were multiple spottings of live and dead cockroaches (they noted 20-25 live ones visibly present in the main kitchen during one 2015 visit), ‘slimy/mold-like build-up’ in coolers and freezers, and holes in kitchen walls.”

If Trump really wants people to abide by his “rule,” they should avoid his establishments like the plague (literally). What he’s done by posting this unethical attack is provide additional evidence of what a nauseating person he is, and what nauseating businesses he runs. There is one thing certain about his rule that most Americans can see: Donald Trump really is “dirty on the inside.”

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 Literally Lobbying for Revocation of the Constitution’s Protection of the Free Press

On Thursday Donald Trump’s Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, presided over the White House’s (no longer) Daily Press Briefing and proceeded to turn it into a farce by evading questions and outright lying. That, of course, is nothing new. It’s the Standard Operating Procedure for the Trump Communications Office. But what has transpired on Fox News since then is deeply disturbing (which isn’t really new either).

Fox NOT News

At the briefing there were numerous reporters seeking to get Sanders to explain the administration’s position on it’s own policy of ripping children away from parents of asylum seekers. She spent much of her time affirming Trump’s blatant lie that Democrats were responsible for a law that forced him to carry out this heinous practice. But there is no such law. This abuse of human rights was wholly the work of Trump and his cohorts.

When confronted with these facts, Sanders went into a bunker mentality, refusing to answer direct questions or repeating unresponsive talking points. She even descended into personally insulting reporters for merely quoting things she just finished saying. She twisted bible verses in a cynical attempt to support her unconscionable defense of child abuse. And she displayed a callous disregard for the welfare of innocents.

Naturally, Fox News praised Sanders and the Trump administration without reservation or concern for the children. But they went even further to suggest that any criticism, or even just the pursuit of answers, was unpatriotic and disrespectful to a leader they believe must never be challenged. Fox News attacked the journalists who pressed Sanders for answers as animals, which is the same word Trump uses to describe undocumented immigrants. Coincidence?

On Friday two of Fox’s most prominent hosts actually advocated openly for censorship and the suppression of independent journalism. They flagrantly campaigned to silence dissenting voices in the media by prohibiting them from doing their jobs. That’s more than an attack on the reporters, it’s an attack on the Constitution. It violates the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of the press. However, it also puts the grotesque, fascist ideology of Fox News on display for all to see. Cases in point, these commentaries by Fox’s Lou Dobbs and Jesse Watters:

Dobbs: You would think someone would be assigned to slap the hell out of somebody. We’ll talk to our panel tonight about whether it’s time the bar some of these so-called journalists from the White House briefing room permanently.

Watters: These people don’t belong there. They are jokes. They need to start ripping press passes away. If you’re going to act like a wild animal, you don’t belong there.

Remember, the reporters they are criticizing were trying to get answers about the Trump administration’s practice of tearing apart families and warehousing babies in concentration camp-like facilities. So who are the animals? And this isn’t the first time that journalists have had their jobs threatened in this manner. On Tuesday, Trump’s 2020 campaign manger, Brad Parscale, tweeted that CNN’s Jim Acosta “should immediately have his press credentials suspended.” And Trump’s senior counselor, Kellyanne Conway, appeared shortly after that on Fox and Friends to concur with Parscale’s totalitarian-friendly tweet.

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

There is something especially contemptible about an alleged “news” enterprise calling for the suppression of the rights of fellow journalists. But Fox News is unabashedly doing just that. They want all reporting to consist only of drooling adoration of Trump and anything less than that must be quashed. This is more evidence (as if it was necessary) that Fox is not a news outlet at all. They are the PR division of the Trump administration and an obedient purveyor of unvarnished propaganda. And if they are allowed to succeed with their mission to suppress free speech we can wave goodbye to the freedom and democracy upon which it relies.