The Fake Fox News Story About Seth Rich Was Planted By Russia and Promoted By Hannity

Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News has just published an extensive investigative report revealing that the bogus story about the murder of the Democratic National Committee staffer, Seth Rich, was originally planted by Russian intelligence. (Insert SHOCKED! face here). This was a completely fabricated piece of actual fake news that was prominently pushed by Fox News, and particularly Sean Hannity.

Fox News, Sean Hannity, Vladimir Putin

The article by Isikoff went into stark detail about the origins of the callous claims that Rich was actually the source of hacked emails the were published by Wikileaks. Those who told and spread these lies had no compassion whatsoever for the family that was grieving the loss of a loved one. Likewise, they didn’t care that they were disseminating falsehoods created by Russian spies intended to disrupt an American presidential election. Isikoff reported that

“The conspiracy claims reached their zenith in May 2017 — the same week as Mueller’s appointment as special counsel in the Russia probe — when Fox News’ website posted a sensational story claiming that an FBI forensic report had discovered evidence on Rich’s laptop that he had been in communication with WikiLeaks prior to his death. Sean Hannity, the network’s primetime star, treated the account as major news on his nightly broadcast, calling it ‘explosive’ and proclaiming it ‘might expose the single biggest fraud, lies, perpetrated on the American people by the media and the Democrats in our history.'”

“In fact, the Fox story was a ‘complete fabrication,’ said [U.S. attorney Deborah] Sines, who consulted with the FBI about the Fox News claims. There was ‘no connection between Seth and WikiLeaks. And there was no evidence on his work computer of him downloading and disseminating things from the DNC.'”

In an interview on MSNBC, Isikoff elaborated on what his investigation uncovered (video below):

“The timing is so interesting here. The week that this breaks on Fox News, in the story they later had to retract and acknowledged didn’t ‘meet their editorial standards,’ Sean Hannity is shouting it from the rooftops. What’s going on that week? It’s the week that [special counsel Robert] Mueller was appointed. It’s the week [FBI Director James] Comey was fired. It’s when the Russia story was blowing up.”

Isikoff noted that Hannity’s guest was Trump’s attorney for the Russia affair, Jay Sekulow. He had just been hired by Trump, but Hannity left that fact out of the segment. Together they were pushing the phony Rich story as a means to undercut the Russia narrative.

Fox News later issued a mushy retraction that admitted no fault. They said they would conduct an internal investigation to ascertain where they went wrong, but any findings from the alleged investigation remain undisclosed. However, Hannity never conceded any wrongdoing at all. To the contrary, he insisted that his “reporting” was accurate and would continue:

“I am not Fox.com or FoxNews.com, I retracted nothing. For those accusing me of pushing a conspiracy theory, you are the biggest phony hypocrites in the entire world. This issue, it’s so big now that the entire Russia collusion narrative is hanging by a thread. […] These are questions that I have a moral obligation to ask, and I will do the mainstream media’s job like I have most of my career.”

True to form, Hannity never did retract his lies about Rich. But he did delete all of his tweets about Rich (you can still see them here). He is exhibiting the same dishonesty, arrogance, and stubbornness as his bestie in the White House, Donald Trump. They both will cling to the most ludicrous assertions, even after they have been proven to be utterly false. The truth plays no part in their determined propaganda crusades. And neither does patriotism, as both Hannity and Trump have now been been shown to be willing confederates (aka “useful idiots”) of covert Russian operations.

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

Sean Hannity Faceplants with Ludicrous Charge that Anti-Trump Protesters are Racist

One of the favorite pastimes of right-wing propagandists is to try to deflect the well documented history of their racism by flipping the narrative and falsely accusing liberals of being prejudiced. It’s a futile exercise in deception considering that liberals are the champions of equality for all, while conservatives put up obstacles at every opportunity. It’s liberals who fight for civil rights, and Republicans who suppress everything from voting to jobs to education and more.

Sean Hannity, Fox News

So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the primetime block on Fox News is a virtual White Power Broadcasting service. It’s triumvirate of Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity are beloved by America’s confederacy of white nationalists and neo-Nazis. The fact that that doesn’t make them (or Fox) nervous tells you all you need to know about them.

Leading this pack of weasels is Sean Hannity. He is also one of those who most frequently accuses Democrats of the abhorrent behavior that conservatives are known for. And that occurred again on Monday night’s episode of his program. In order to disrupt some anti-Trump rallies, Hannity sent Fox contributor Lawrence Jones to see if he could goad some innocent people into saying things that Hannity could take out of context. But he failed miserably, so he had to bend some comments into absurd misrepresentations of reality (video below). He began by saying that…

“There were some moments, vile, racist, vicious, horrible. Two men actually approached our own Lawrence Jones and one told him to go back to Fox News where there’s ‘more cotton for you to pick.’ [and another said] ‘He’ll tell you to go back to Kenya next.'”

This is what Hannity thinks is vile and racist? Anyone with an elementary grasp of the English language can see that neither of those comments were directed at Jones. Telling someone to “go back to Fox News where there’s more cotton for you to pick,” is a criticism of Fox News as a figurative plantation where African-Americans are exploited. That is, when they aren’t being disrespected, insulted, and belittled. And the comment about going back to Kenya was obviously a sarcastic reference to the Birther movement that Hannity and Fox participated in, wherein they maligned President Obama as an un-American, illegitimate president. The protester who said it was clearly referring to Trump as the person who would tell Jones to go back to Kenya.

So the first comment was directed at the racism of Fox News, and the second was directed at the racism of Trump. How any of that could be construed as racism aimed at Jones is beyond imagination. But departures from reality are what Hannity specializes in.

Hannity further demonstrated that by rattling off a list of phony “accomplishments” that he said Trump had achieved for African-Americans. Then he asks why, with all of that, the black community doesn’t support him. To which Jones had a pretty good response. He said that Republicans haven’t been articulating their message and that “the President can make a turn if he goes into the community.” Which, of course, Trump has never done. Every one of his dozens of cult rallies have been in snow white communities and attended by overwhelmingly white devotees.

Hannity is suggesting that African-Americans who don’t support Trump are stupid and don’t understand what’s in their own best interests. He thinks that they should submit to the nearly all-white GOP to be their paternal caretakers. It’s a condescending attitude that is racist at its core. The reason African-Americans almost universally support Democrats is because they can see that it’s a party that embraces diversity, including in the ranks of their representatives and leadership. But conservatives are devoted to oppressing anyone that doesn’t look and think like them. And these stunts by Hannity only drive home that point with greater emphasis.

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

Sean Hannity Gaslights America: Spins Trump’s Treasonous Remarks As ‘A Genius Setup’

Every aspiring dictator worth his salt has a media enterprise at the ready to peddle his version of an obviously fabricated, self-serving reality. And for Donald Trump that has always been Fox News. The network that was born as a propaganda tool for right-witn purveyors of policies that benefit only corporations and the wealthy quickly adapted to the Era of Trump and aligned their most prominent, primetime shills with the White House approved messaging.

Fox News, Sean Hannity

Leading the pack of StormTrumpers at Fox News is Sean Hannity, a sycophant so devoted that the shows up to speak at Trump’s cult rallies and appears in his campaign videos. Hannity has proven that he will do and say anything to support Dear Leader, no matter how deceitful, immoral, ar absurd.

So naturally when Trump takes a gaping bite out of his own bone-spur infested foot, Hannity is right there with the ketchup and a Diet Coke to help wash it down. On Wednesday Trump essentially confessed to George Stephanopoulos that he unlawfully received information from Russia and would be happy to do so again with any hostile foreign nation. It was an unambiguous admission of a “high crime” that would merit impeachment. Hannity’s response to this criminal treachery was to herald it as a brilliant ploy to discombobulate the hapless Democrats saying that “In many ways that was a genius setup because the media mob will fall right into his trap” See? Trump was only pleading guilty to treason in order to punk the libs. And Hannity continued (video below):

“Listening is much different than, let’s see, lying, spying, and paying for Russian lies and spreading it through the media by ‘deep state’ operatives and then using it as a basis for a FISA warrant … Why are they not so outraged about Hillary paying for Russian lies, disinformation, Comey generously using the unverifiable data from Russia to spy on the Trump campaign and get a FISA warrant? No doubt, by the way, this will all get another round of fake, phony, moral selective outrage over that interview, but it’s a perfect setup because if they are outraged about that then how can you not be outraged over what I just said?”

Needless to say, that voluminous disgorgement was nothing but more of the fantastical mythologies that Hannity is famous for. His first goto deflection is to bring up some old, debunked lies about Hillary Clinton. And his defense of Trump isn’t that he’s innocent, but that he’s only as guilty as (he says) Clinton is. That’s like Ted Bundy defending himself by claiming that the fictional Hannibal Lecter was way worse.

If this is the best that Hannity and Fox News can do to persuade their Deplorable, and easily fooled, viewers that Trump didn’t actually admit that he has taken, and will gladly take in the future, disinformation from operatives working for foreign enemies, then it’s clear they are running on empty. They are now having to literally scrape the bottom of their propaganda barrell. It’s a pathetic spectacle, but one that was inevitable considering how much bullshit they’ve been spreading around for the past few years.

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

Hannity Attacks Maddow and Winds Up Admitting that He and Fox News are ‘Fake News’

MSNBC just announced that their panel of moderators for the first Democratic primary debate will include Lester Holt, Savannah Guthrie, José Diaz-Balart, Chuck Todd, and Rachel Maddow. And as might be predicted, the last name on that list has already stirred some controversy.

Rachel Maddow, Sean Hannity, Fox News

Rachel Maddow is unambiguously opinionated. Her program covers the news from a liberal perspective, although always dedicated to presentations that rely on factual sources. Whether or not it’s appropriate for her to be a moderator for a political debate is – well, debatable. But it’s MSNBC’s decision to make and her performance can be judged on the merits. That is, unless you’re Sean Hannity of Fox News. In which case Maddow must be preemptively denounced with childish nicknames (ala Donald Trump) like “Roswell Maddow” and absurd slurs that portray her as “left of Mao, by public admission” (an admission that exists only in Hannity’s cartoon brain).

Hannity devoted a whole segment of his program on Tuesday to this manufactured controversy, and brought in Sean Spicer and Jesse Watters to add their “unbiased” analysis (video below). Hannity led off by referring to Maddow as…

“Tinfoil hat-Maddow, the single biggest liar, conspiracy theorist in the country, the person that pushed the Russiagate lies night after night.”

Never mind that the role of “biggest liar, conspiracy theorist” has long been held by Hannity himself. He has pushed destructive falsehoods ranging from Obama’s birth certificate, to Pizzagate, to the Seth Rich murder, and to countless and malicious assaults on special counsel Robert Mueller. But Hannity was unable to cite a single alleged conspiracy theory promoted by Maddow. With regard to Trump’s unsavory connections to Russia, and his obstruction of justice, Maddow has actually broken stories that have held up over time. But that wasn’t the worst of Hannity’s drooling outburst. In response to the news of Maddow’s selection as a moderator, he offered a programming proposal of his own:

“Here’s what we’re going to do. We’ll have a debate moderated by me, the Great One [Mark Levin], Rush Limbaugh, Jesse [Watters] can join us, and Laura [Ingraham] and Tucker [Carlson]. How’s that?”

How’s that? That’s actually pretty funny. Hannity just slogged through several minutes of whining about how prejudicial and dishonest Maddow is, and thus unfit to be a moderator. So what’s his method of balancing out this partisan tilt? Countering it with his own flavor of prejudice and dishonesty. He is, in effect, admitting that he and his Fox News colleagues are as unfit to moderate a debate as he says Maddow is. It’s kind of like Hannity telling a schoolmate “You’re mother would win an ugly contest, unless my mother was a contestant. How’s that?”

For the record, Maddow already moderated a Democratic primary debate. Back in 2016, she was on a panel during a debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. At the time, Howard Kurtz of Fox News didn’t think she was the right choice. But he nevertheless said that “Rachel Maddow did a pretty good job in questioning Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders at MSNBC’s Democratic debate last night.” And why wouldn’t she? She’s a Stanford graduate and a Rhodes Scholar with a doctorate in political science. Hannity is a dropout who rose to fame as a radio shock jock.

Hannity’s meltdown over this issue is typical of his bombastic response to everything that Democrats or liberals do, whether or not there is any cause. He is oblivious to the fact that a primary debate (as opposed to the general election) is a partisan event to begin with. He’d probably be shocked to learn that every one of those debaters are Democrats. And it’s not as if he and Fox News have distinguished themselves during their many interviews (aka tongue baths) with Trump, who is too scared to be interviewed by anyone on MSNBC or CNN. So much for being fair and balanced.

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

Asshattery: Hannity Lashes Out at Mueller and the Report Trump Said ‘Totally Exonerates’ Him

There’s a point at which it is impossible to ignore that Donald Trump and his sycophantic bootlickers at Fox News are anything but irredeemably deranged. That point actually came long ago, but they keep reaffirming it every day with new and more absurd diatribes intended to sanitize Trump’s criminal presidency. It’s a futile exercise in shameless hackery that can only be pursued if one has zero self respect or integrity.

Fox News Sean Hannity

So naturally, Sean Hannity jumps in with both feet to demonstrate how devoid of reason the right’s defenses of Trump can be when they really put their diseased minds to it. On Thursday night he complained bitterly about Nancy Pelosi saying that she didn’t want to impeach Trump, she wanted him in prison. Hannity portrayed that as the sort of comment made in “banana republics.” Apparently he forgot that Trump leads his cult rallies in chants of “lock her up” every time hillary Clinton’s name is mentioned.

Then Hannity devoted most of the rest of his Fox News Trump-Fluffing Hour to the premise that Robert Mueller (a decorated war hero and life-long Republican public servant) is actually the leader of an evil liberal cabal bent on orchestrating a coup against the impeccably virtuous Trump regime. Never mind that Trump has been implicated in numerous criminal activities that extend from his private businesses to his presidential campaign to his inauguration and to his hopelessly corrupt administration. Not to mention his many conspicuous attempts to obstruct justice.

The whole of Hannity’s argument is that the report issued by special counsel Robert Mueller somehow proves that he set out from the start to frame Trump. Which is a pretty startling charge considering that Trump himself described the report as complete and total exoneration and that Mueller acted honorably.” But Hannity wasn’t having any of that (video below):

“We start tonight with a massive development out of the Mueller partisan witch hunt. Tonight more evidence has emerged that Bob Mueller’s 448 page report was nothing but pure, political garbage garbage full of errors put there purposely. […] He and his merry band of all Democratic donors, no Republican donors, all Trump haters – that means they lied in that report.”

Most of Hannity’s loopy rambling was based on the ludicrous and unsupported musings of conspiracy crackpot John Solomon. He was unable to comprehend that a Russian operative identified in the Mueller report might also have met with U.S. intelligence agents without that meaning he was a actually an American agent himself. In fact, U.S. intelligence agents actually make a point of encountering foreign agents as part of their investigative and surveillance duties. But that didn’t stop Hannity from making this the basis for his unhinged rant. And his preposterous attacks on Mueller just escalated as he went on. For instance:

“What this ends up being is outright deception, outright lying by Mueller, and of course his Democratic donor friends that he appointed.”

“Everything Mueller said in 9 1/2 minutes was false, it was phony, it was fake, it was innuendo, and Attorney General Barr pretty much bailed him out.”

“The pattern is clear. What we see now time and time again. The special counsel manipulates information to unjustly impugn a duly elected president of the United States.”

So Hannity is convinced that Mueller, who was appointed by a Republican Assistant Attorney General, who was himself appointed by Trump, is a Democratic plant tasked with spreading lies to destroy Trump. What an amazingly devious plot. How did Democrats get these Republicans – and even Trump – to participate in this Machiavellian scheme? But Hannity wasn’t through. He still needed to reinforce Trump’s whiny defense tactics by shamelessly parroting them:

“There was no collusion. There was no obstruction on the Trump campaign’s part. There was no conspiracy. All the Trump haters on Mueller’s team, well they just reverted to plan B. That’s a 448 page smear campaign. They created a document definitely intended to fuel even more lies, more conspiracy theories from Democrats and, of course, their allies in the abusively biased and corrupt media mob. It was a political hit job from the beginning through and through. And the President was right, it always was a witch hunt. And as far as Mueller was concerned, mission accomplished.”

Mission accomplished, indeed. Hannity truly served his purpose as Trump’s valiant martinet, maligning all those who dared to criticize Trump or attack him with the truth that he so despises. It’s a wonder how Hannity gets through these drooling harangues without bursting a vein in his forehead. But he does it in service to his master and Dear Leader who, despite holding the most powerful job in the world, is a pitiful victim of a bunch of snowflake Democrats and liberals. So sad.

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

If Facebook Bans Alex Jones and Farrakhan, as ‘Dangerous’, What About Fox News and Trump?

For many years there have been repulsive hate mongers littering the social media platforms used by millions of Americans. They spread their ludicrous rumors and lies in order to divide the nation, advance their ultra-conservative agendas, and pad their wallets. On Thursday some of these miscreants suffered a setback that, while welcome, was long overdue.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Hate Again

The reigning shrine of social media, Facebook, announced that it is removing the accounts of several of the worst offenders in the hierarchy of hatred. While this doesn’t completely prevent them from continuing to infect our society with their loathsome ideas, at least it denies them one of the most popular vehicles for promoting themselves and recruiting followers. Consequently, this is good news:

“In an effort to contain misinformation and extremism that have spread across the platforms, Instagram and its parent company, Facebook, have banned Alex Jones, Infowars, Milo Yiannopoulos, Paul Joseph Watson, Laura Loomer, and Paul Nehlen under their policies against dangerous individuals and organizations. They also banned the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has repeatedly made anti-Semitic statements.”

Good riddance. The online world will be better for their absence in it. But this round of exclusions won’t entirely solve the problem. There are many others online who trafic in the same despicable and dangerous activities. In fact, one of them is considered by many to be a legitimate news enterprise.

Fox News has proven itself to be just as careless with facts as people like Alex Jones, and just as devoted to intolerance as Farrakhan. It was Fox News host Sean Hannity who promoted the absurd and debunked conspiracy theory that Seth Rich was murdered by agents of Hillary Clinton. Although Fox News removed some of that content from their website, Hannity never retracted his slanderous lies nor apologized. But that’s not all.

  • Fox News contributor Wayne Allyn Root called for the GOP to hire “attack dogs … that have killed people” to counter liberals and Democrats.
  • Steve Doocy of Fox and Friends accused former FBI director James Comey of releasing top secret materials. Doocy later retracted that charge because it wasn’t true.
  • Fox News contributor Gen. Tony Thomas accused the New York Times of allowing a terrorist leader to escape. Fox’s Pete Hegseth later elaborated on the accusation. The Times responding by proving that the charge was false.
  • Many of Fox’s hosts and guests have peddled the lie that Hillary Clinton sold U.S. uranium to Russia. That nonsense was utterly demolished by everyone with knowledge of the facts, including Shepard Smith of Fox News.

It’s often hard to tell the difference between the crackpottery of Infowars and the nearly identical conspiracies fostered by Fox News. Fox News has actually cited Infowars as a source in their reporting of a Clinton smear alleging that Google was suppressing stories about the “Clinton body count.”

But there’s another culprit whose presence on Facebook should be questioned for violating their terms of service. Donald Trump is the indisputable leader in hate speech. His relentless references to the media in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people” puts the safety and lives of journalists at risk. His frequent use of incendiary and racist language incites hate crimes around the country. The same is true for his characterization of Latino asylum seekers as “rapists,” “murders,” and “invaders.”

It certainly doesn’t help matters when Trump validates white nationalists as “very fine people.” Especially when he does so while talking about the one who committed murder in Charlottesville. What’s more, Trump has appeared on Jones’ Infowars program praising his “amazing” reputation. And an Infowars “correspondent” was actually granted a press pass by Trump’s White House.

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

None of this is new for Trump. He has been using dangerously inflammatory rhetoric since the beginning of his campaign for the presidency. That includes how he has spoken reverentially about murderous dictators like Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, and others. And it even goes back further to his birther attacks on President Obama’s citizenship. So it seems fair to question whether Trump and Fox News should be considered “dangerous figures” by Facebook’s standards, and warrant being banned as well. How are they different than the cretins that Facebook just cut loose?

Fox News vs Itself: Shep Cuts Off Conspiracy Nut’s Notre Dame Fire Rant, Hannity Embraces It

The heartbreaking news from Paris has caused shock and despair around the world as the famed, iconic, 800 year old Notre Dame Cathedral was engulfed in flames. The sight of this majestic testimony to the brilliance and creativity of humankind crumbling into ashes was literally painful to watch. Every decent citizen of the Earth is feeling the loss today.

Notre Dame

So that leaves the indecent cretins with plenty of opportunity to demonstrate how repulsive they can be. And they lost no time in taking advantage of this tragic event. One of them was French official, Philippe Karsenty, who called into to Fox News and was interviewed by Shepard Smith. Karsenty is a right-wing character who regularly espouses ludicrous conspiracy theories and was recently convicted of defamation. His exchange with Smith nearly devolved into another fruitcake tirade until Smith cut him off (video below):

Karsenty: It’s like a 9/11, it’s a French 9/11. It’s a big shock. We’ve had churches desecrated each and every week all over France. So, of course, you will hear the story of the political correctness which will tell you it’s probably an accident.
Smith: Sir, sir, we’re not going to speculate of the cause of something that we don’t know. If you have observations or you know something, we would love to hear it.

Of course, Karsenty had nothing to offer other than his wild speculation. So Smith ended the interview and gave this admonition to any other conspiracy theorists and the weak, gullible minds they seek to disinform:

Smith: We’re not doing that here, not now, not on my watch. The man on the phone with us has absolutely no information of any kind about the origin of this fire and neither do I. The fire investigators will at some point come to a determination about what caused this and conspiracy theories about anything are worthless and in many cases counterproductive and injurious to society. And those who entertain them are not acting in the best interests of the people of this planet.

Well said, Shep. As for “those who entertain” such nonsense, one of Shep’s network colleagues may be among the first to dive further into the conspiracy soup. Sean Hannity told his radio audience that terrorism may have played a role in this fire. He had no facts, or even vague insinuations, to back that up. It was pure exploitation and fear mongering. What’s more, the wingnut Gateway Pundit and ex-Sputnik shill, Cassandra Fairbanks, praised Hannity and called Smith an “arrogant pompous douche.” And finally, Donald Trump himself weighed on the fire story:

Really? Trump is telling the French first responders to “act quickly,” something they probably never thought of. And his advice to have tankers drop thousands of pounds of water on the already damaged and fragile structure was immediately dismissed as incredibly stupid. But then, what else would you expect from Trump?

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

Rachel Maddow is the #1 Cable News Program for First Quarter of 2019 Despite Trump’s Fox News Hype

The Rachel Maddow Show has achieved yet another milestone in her program’s ratings surge. She has been outperforming her competition since the midterm election last November. That includes staggering routs of Fox News and its primary Trump-fluffer, Sean Hannity.

Rachel Maddow

In a press release from MSNBC, Maddow is shown to have beaten “all other FOX News and CNN shows, according to Nielsen data from December 31, 2018 through March 28, 2019.” Furthermore, “this quarter was ‘Maddow’s’ highest-rated quarter ever in total viewers, averaging 3.07M total viewers at 9pm.” It’s a record-breaking achievement that demonstrates the audience appeal for an aggressively honest brand of reporting that respects the viewer and delivers facts that are well-sourced and documented.

The success of Maddow’s program was mirrored by much of the MSNBC schedule. The network’s Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5pm, viewing grew by a larger margin (17%) than Fox News, which actually declined two percent. The same goes for total day viewing that saw a nine percent increase for MSNBC versus a two percent drop for Fox News.

Additionally, The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell bested its Fox competition in its time period to be the #1 program for the quarter in both the 25-54 year old demographic and total viewers. It also outperformed Fox by growing ten percent compared to a seven percent decline for Fox. And another bright spot for MSNBC was Nicolle Wallace’s Deadline: White House, which also rang in at #1 against Fox’s long time host Neil Cavuto. And the press release notes that:

“Multiple MSNBC programs also achieved total-viewer ratings highs, including weekdays during ‘MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle,’ ‘MSNBC Live with Hallie Jackson,’ ‘MSNBC Live with Craig Melvin,’ ‘Andrea Mitchell Reports,’ ‘MSNBC Live with Velshi & Ruhle,’ ‘MSNBC Live with Katy Tur,’ ‘MSNBC Live with Ali Velshi,’ ‘MTP Daily,’ ‘The Beat with Ari Melber,’ ‘Hardball with Chris Matthews,’ ‘All In with Chris Hayes,’ and ‘The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell’; and Saturdays during ‘UP with David Gura’ and ‘Weekends with Alex Witt.'”

It must be especially painful for Fox News considering how hard Trump worked to promote his State TV division. At times it was impossible to tell whether Trump was the President of the United States, or of Fox’s Marketing and PR department. At one point in March Trump posted ten Fox News videos in one flurry of weekend rage-tweeting.

This quarter also saw the publishing of an in-depth expose of the clinging embrace between Trump and Fox News by Jane Mayer of the New Yorker. Trump also came to the defense of two of Fox’s most offensive hosts, Jeanine Pirro and Tucker Carlson, whose prafane and insulting rants have cost them most of their advertisers. The Democratic National Committee made a profoundly wise decision to ban Fox from hosting any Democratic primary debates. That decision was affirmed shortly thereafter by a survey that revealed the depth of Fox’s right-wing nuttery. Meanwhile, Trump kept tweeting what he thought was good news about his favorite network.

All in all, it’s another stellar quarter for MSNBC, a network that was once written off as an also-ran that would always trail the perennial leader. And for Fox News it’s a bitter humiliation as their relentless and biased advocacy for Donald Trump, and shameless lying about his critics, proves to be a drag in the ratings race.

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

Poor Fox News is Pathetically Bragging About a Few Days of Beating MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow

Fox News was once the dominant news network on cable TV. It was so far ahead of its competition that it seemed unthinkable that it could be challenged. That’s mainly because they corralled all of the Deplorable right-wingers into one barnyard pen, while the rest of the television news was dispersed across many other channels. But it was still a marketing angle they could use as a cudgel against their competitors.

Fox News, Rachel Maddow

In recent years that domination has has dissipated substantially. And particularly in the past few months, MSNBC has caught up, and quite often surpassed Fox news in the ratings. Rachel Maddow’s program has been crushing Sean Hannity, her direct time period competitor, on a nearly nightly basis ever since the midterm elections last November.

In what seems to be a reaction to the surging performance of MSNBC, Donald Trump took measures to prop up Fox News which acts as his personal, state TV mouthpiece for propaganda. He’s has fervently promoted his fave hosts including Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, and Jeanine Pirro. He even did so on Thursday night at his latest cult rally in Michigan. It’s often hard to tell whether Trump thinks he’s working for the American people or for Fox’s PR department.

Fox News has also started to boast about their ratings. They featured a story on their website’s home page that celebrated what they called “Maddow’s Deep Dive.” What makes this extraordinary is that this isn’t the sort of thing that any network does. When was the last time anyone has seen CBS or CNN make a story about their ratings a news item? That’s generally reserved for the TV trade press. But even more embarrassing for Fox is that they have to do this at all. They are effectively conceding that they have been the big losers of late and now are proud that they’ve had a few days where they aren’t in the ratings cellar. It’s an admission that they are underperforming MSNBC and it is therefore cause for joy that they came out on top for a while.

It should be noted that this “success” for Fox News is occurring just after the release of a four page letter by Trump’s plant in the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr. The letter purports to be a summary of the 400+ page report by special counsel Robert Mueller. But it is a gross misrepresentation of that document by all accounts. And that includes the account of Fox’s senior legal analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano, who says that there is evidence of conspiracy and obstruction of justice in the full report. So it’s natural for Maddow’s viewers to take a break from what can be considered a slow news cycle, while Fox’s viewers pile in to get their pro-Trump fantasies gassed up.

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

Whether or not this constitutes a trend in the ratings, or is a temporary blip remains to be seen. But the fact that Fox News was compelled to throw a party simply because they edged out Maddow – who rose from nowhere to become a giant killer – just proves that Fox is worried and has to brag about briefly beating a show that they used to ignore as unworthy of their attention. Maddow and MSNBC are clearly making Fox so nervous that they can’t even hide it. That’s great news for MSNBC.

Trump Pumps Fox News Ratings Despite Their Primetime Shows Losing to MSNBC Four Months Straight

There is a stench of desperation in seeing a president so brazenly genuflecting to a sycophantic “news” enterprise. Especially one that serves as his personal State TV mouthpiece. But that’s what has transpired between Donald Trump and Fox News. It’s gotten to the point where he appears to be acting more like the president of Fox News PR and Marketing than of the United States. Just last week he posted ten videos of Fox programs touting his eminence.

Donald Trump Sean Hannity

Trump’s devotion to Fox News is so all-consuming that it takes up more than half of his Twitter feed. He tweets more about Fox News than about “witch hunts,” although many of his tweets combine both of those subjects thanks to Fox’s own obsession over that particular conspiracy rant. But on Tuesday Trump took the additional step of bragging on Fox’s behalf about their ratings:

There’s a lot to unpack here. First of all, Trump already declared that the media has lost its credibility many times, going back nearly two years. Secondly, the Mueller investigation that he calls a “witch hunt” has produced dozens of indictments and seven convictions, so far. And with the release of the Barr Letter (allegedly summarizing the Mueller Report), Trump even praised special counsel Robert Mueller as “honorable.” Thirdly – well, we don’t really need to go into the absurdity of Trump’s self characterization as “your all time favorite duly elected President, me!” His historically low approval polling settles that question.

Finally, Trump leaped into the TV marketing and promotions game by hyping what he thinks are good numbers for Fox News. It needs to be noted that that is NOT his job! But he persists in boasting as if Fox’s performance reflects on him personally, which in many ways it does. But his analysis is pitifully ignorant. His assertion that the Mueller news affected the ratings race is based solely on the steam emanating from the various orifices in his head (and perhaps other body parts as well). But more importantly, Mueller has been in the news all month and the ratings over the course of more than just the one day that Trump is focused on tell a completely different story.

For the month of March so far, Rachel Maddow has beaten her competition, Sean Hannity, in the all-important advertising demographic of 25-54 year olds. And in total audience they are separated by a miniscule fifty thousand viewers, with both coming just short of three million on average per night. Longer term, though, Maddow has crushed Hannity for the past four months straight.

So Trump is going out of his way to celebrate the ratings on a single night that has no bearing on the overall ratings picture. It’s what losers in the media do when they haven’t got a real story of success to pitch. And Trump is going all out to help his pals at Fox. He has scheduled his first post-Barr Letter interview for Hannity’s program Wednesday night. Although it’s a stretch to call these love fests interviews since they mainly consist of Hannity feeding Trump narratives he can brag (and lie) about. Undoubtedly the faithfull MAGA cultists will tune in for more of their regularly scheduled propaganda. But the real test will come in the days and weeks following these staged, reality TV style events.And if the past four months is any indicator, we won’t be seeing any more of these Trump pumps on his Twitter feed.

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