Fox News Warns Their Employees About COVID-19, While Lying to Their Viewers

After nearly two months of rapidly growing infection rates, anxiety, and fatalities, Donald Trump has finally declared a national emergency due to COVID-19 (the coronavirus). This declaration is both an acknowledgement that the problem is far more serious than he has previously let on, and an inadvertent confession that he was wrong to trivialize the all too apparent risks in the first place.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Fake

However, Trump’s press conference continued to paint an unrealistically rosy scenario wherein everything would soon be fine due to the “perfectly” implemented response by his administration. Trump spent much of the presser praising himself and falsely smearing his predecessor, President Obama. Never mind that the Obama administration quickly declared a health emergency at the outset of the H1N1 (swine Flu) virus, and tested a million Americans the first month. It’s been two months since the first reported case of COVID-19, but Trump just got around to declaring an emergency and only about 10,000 Americans have been tested.

RELATED: Trump’s Flagrant Coronavirus Lies Are Turning His Supporters Into Carriers

The coverage of Trump’s declaration by his State TV news outlet (aka Fox News) was predictably sparkling with unflinching adoration and praise. This required a significant turnabout in their editorial stance considering that Fox News had been staunchly supporting Trump’s prior insistence that the coronavirus wasn’t a really a problem at all. For weeks Trump lied (video below) about there being only a handful of cases and that the number was going down. He assured the public that the whole thing would miraculously disappear in short order. And Fox News backed him up a hundred percent. But now that Trump has conceded that this situation requires an emergency declaration, Fox News has flipped their position in tandem with the President’s.

That position, however, is confusing, and perhaps deliberately so. While Trump did declare a national emergency, he continued to speak optimistically about how quickly his “flawless” management of the crisis would result in its timely conclusion. In other words, there is still nothing to worry about. Naturally, Fox News parroted that positivity. On many of its programs the slant was toward how confident the American people should be that Trump would would guide us all to safety. There was little of the caution that the rest of the media is encouraging.

For instance, Fox and Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt told viewers that “It’s actually the safest time to fly.” This, while medical experts are advising people to avoid non-essential travel such as long plane trips. And that’s especially true for those over 65, which is the bulk of Fox’s audience. Additionally, Trish Regan said that it’s all a Democratic hoax to impeach the President. That’s similar to Trump’s “shadow” chief of staff Sean Hannity’s take that pegged Democrats as the real threat, rather than the virus:

“Since the beginning, all they’ve done is use the virus, politicize the virus to bludgeon President Trump. All the same people who have done the same thing for three straight years. … Russia, Russia. Ukraine, Ukraine. And impeach, impeach. Now, corona, corona.”

What’s most disturbing about this is that, while Fox News is virtually encouraging risky behavior for their viewers, they are giving completely different advice to their employees. A memo that was sent by Fox’s CEO Suzanne Scott and president Jay Wallace told staffers to…

“…cut back on studio bookings and to expect possible programming changes as a result of precautions being taken against the spread of coronavirus.”

And furthermore…

“Fox News told producers and bookers to rely more on remote interviews or interviews conducted via Skype; to cancel all in-person meetings; and to limit vendors for entering the building. Earlier this week, Fox News canceled the in-studio audience for its ‘Greg Gutfeld Show’ on Saturday nights and said it would stop doing a live-audience show for ‘Fox & Friends’ that had been taking place about once every month.”

That’s good advice that is consistent with the guidance given by medical experts. Many companies are instituting similar precautions. But while that’s good enough for the Fox staffers, it isn’t what Fox is telling their own viewers. And that isn’t just the view of outsiders and critics of the network. A Fox producer told CNN’s Brian Stelter that…

“The attempt to deflect and blame the media and Democrats from Trish Regan, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Lou Dobbs, Jesse Watters, and Greg Gutfeld — instead of addressing the coronavirus — is really irresponsible and hazardous to our viewers.”

The stark difference between Fox’s internal personnel guidance and their editorial policy is indicative of their political biases. It also demonstrates that their concerns for their audience (which is largely made up of vulnerable seniors) is focused more on pro-Trump propaganda and advancing his reelection prospects, than on protecting their health and welfare. Which, not surprisingly, is exactly what Trump himself is focused on. That’s why he has failed to implement broad-based testing and continues to understate the still very serious risks.

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

Trump Orders Justice Dept to Persecute His Critics and Pamper His Accomplices

There really is no bottom. Now Wannabe Dictator Donald Trump is bringing fascism to America. He is directing his corrupt Justice Department to investigate and prosecute (persecute) his critics. Meanwhile, he lobbies for light sentences and dangles pardons for his bootlicking sycophantic criminal accomplices. This is not normal. And it demonstrates that Republicans who thought Trump might learn from his impeachment were frighteningly mistaken and/or deluded.

Donald Trump

Trump’s Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr, announced that he will be revising the sentencing recommendations for convicted felon Roger Stone. The prosecutors who tried the case recommended seven to nine years based on established legal guidelines. But Barr’s intervention is based on nothing more than Trump’s angry tweets. And if that’s not bad enough, Barr is assuming control of virtually everything that comes into the Justice Department that involves Trump. And Trump is obviously pleased…

The spectacle of seeing a president congratulate his toady AG for letting a convicted criminal off the hook should send shivers up the spines of the American people. Stone was found guilty of five counts of lying to Congress, and one count each of witness intimidation and obstruction. But his friend in the White House is pulling strings so that he doesn’t have to pay the price for his crimes. As a result of Barr’s interference, all four of the federal prosecutors who tried the case have quit.

What’s more, Trump’s tweet also makes a dangerously reckless and baseless accusation that former special counsel Robert Mueller “lied to Congress.” Trump doesn’t bother to cite any alleged falsehood, probably because he just made it up to slander Mueller. In a subsequent tweet Trump asserted, also without any foundation, that the career DOJ lawyers who tried Stone are “Rogue prosecutors.”

Trump has frequently weighed in on the criminal prosecutions of his associates. Just the fact that he has so many associates who have been prosecuted and found guilty is horrifying. But his reaction has been to lobby for lighter sentences or to issue pardons himself. Some of this confederacy of felons include his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, his campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, his deputy campaign manager, Rick Gates, his National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and more.

On the other side of that legal coin, Trump has accused many of his political adversaries of crimes without any evidence whatsoever. In addition to Robert Mueller, Trump charged that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff “is a corrupt politician and a criminal;” that “Nancy [Pelosi] is every bit as guilty;” that “Hillary Clinton lied to the FBI;” and that “The Biden family was PAID OFF.” None of these allegations have an iota of evidence for support. They are purely driven by the animosity and vengeance of a wrathful president.

It has been widely known for years (decades?) that Trump is a vile and vindictive person who relishes punishing his perceived enemies. And he perceives enemies virtually everywhere, as he himself recently confessed. But the fact that he has an administration full of glassy-eyed cult followers who will obediently serve his will makes him all the more dangerous. And the Department of Justice is at the top of that list.

What this means is that there is nothing left to separate America from the totalitarian regimes and their tyrants that Trump so admires. This was articulated well by Sen. Chuck Schumer Wednesday on the floor of the Senate. It cannot be overstated how unusual it is for a speech like this to take place. but his words should be taken seriously if this country is to restore justice and preserve democracy:

“The President is claiming that rigging the rules is perfectly legitimate. He claims an absolute right to order the Justice Department to do anything he wants. And the President has as his Attorney General an enabler. And that’s a kind word. Does anyone think it’s out of the question that Pres. Trump might order the FBI to investigate Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden or anybody else without any evidence that supports such an arbitrary violation of individual rights?

“Oh, I know. Some far-right conspiratorial writer, who has no credibility and who just makes things up, writes it, Fox News puts it on, Sean Hannity or someone talks about it, and then the president says ‘Investigate.’ That is third world behavior – not American behavior.”

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

Trump’s Jealousy of Bloomberg Kicks Off Hannity’s Super Bowl Suck-Up on Fox News

It’s Super Bowl Sunday and Fox News has decided to turn the traditional presidential interview into a Trump-fluffing pageant of propaganda. While Fox likes to pretend that it’s a credible news organization, they can’t help taking every opportunity to prove that that’s a lie. So rather than assign the interview of Donald Trump to one of their alleged “journalists” (Chris Wallace, Bret Baier), they hand it to the Pope of the Cult of Trump, Sean Hannity.

Donald Trump Sean Hannity

Hannity long ago abandoned any pretense of impartiality. He has appeared on stage with Trump at his rallies. He has turned his program into the media campaign headquarters for Trump’s reelection. And he has launched untold smear campaigns against anyone who dared to criticize Trump or tell the truth about him. Hannity’s show is a fountainhead of conspiracy theories and lies in the service of Dear Leader.

So as a teaser to the Super Bowl Sunday Trump interview on Fox News, Hannity released a brief clip to entice potential viewers. Generally the goal of these promos is to offer up something compelling that would make people anxious to tune in. And here is what Fox News and Hannity decided was just the sort of soundbite that would drag in a big audience. Hannity asked Trump what he thought of Mike Bloomberg. And Trump replied…

“I just think of ‘little.’ Now he wants a box for the debates to stand on. Okay, it’s okay, there’s nothing wrong. You could be short. Why should he get a box to stand on, OK? He wants a box for the debates. Why should he be entitled to that? Really? Does that mean everyone else gets a box?”

WOW! Now that’s powerful television. The president of the United States of America blasts one of his potential electoral rivals as being “short.” And that’s the only thing that Trump thinks of when asked about Bloomberg. Naturally, Trump doesn’t think about the fact that Bloomberg, unlike Trump, is an actual billionaire with an estimated net worth of $54 billion. And Trump isn’t thinking about Bloomberg’s promise to spend a billion of that to defeat Trump – even if he isn’t the Democratic nominee. The only thought that flitters around in his empty skull is how he can attach infantile nicknames to a man he is painfully jealous of. As for Bloomberg, he responded with a stinging tweet that refuted Trump’s box blather, for which there is no evidence whatsoever:

So if you’re keeping score:

Trump: Mini Mike is short.
Bloomberg: Trump is a pathological liar who lies about everything: his fake hair, his obesity, and his spray-on tan.

Trump spent the night before this interview road-testing his childishness. He posted a tweet that whined “Mini Mike is part of the Fake News. They are all working together.” This reflects Trump’s crippling paranoia of an all-encompassing cabal that is determined to destroy him. Another tweet asserted that Bloomberg “is getting the DNC to rig the election against Crazy Bernie.” Here Trump manages to fire preadolescent taunts at two rivals at once. All the while pretending to care about the fairness of the Democratic primaries. And Trump’s final midnight tweet raged about the fake box controversy and the imaginary battle “to have the right to stand on boxes.”

If the clip above is what Fox News considers to be the most riveting segment from the Trump/Hannity drool-fest, it’s safe to say that there won’t be anything remotely newsworthy coming out of it. Well, other than further evidence that Hannity is a devoted StormTrumper and Fox News doesn’t give a damn about having any journalistic integrity. But we already knew that. So there really isn’t any reason at all to watch this puerile charade. And low ratings for his Super Bowl butt-kissing with his harlot Hannity would be like needles stabbed into his eyes. So feel free to change the channel, America. Or you could spend that eight minutes whipping another bowl of guacamole.

UPDATE: The interview was even worse than expected. Hannity was a flaming suck-up. And Trump led off with whining about impeachment. Then he just rattled off his petty hatred for Democrats:

  • Biden: He’s Sleepy Joe
  • Sanders: I think he’s a communist.
  • Warren: I call her Fairy Tale.
  • Clinton: I think of emails.
  • Pelosi: I think she’s a very confused, very nervous woman.

This is just further proof that Trump is a low functioning dotard who can’t form a coherent thought or substantive opinion on anything. He just blurts out lame slogans and talking points that might have been written by a temperamental child. And Hannity succeeded in producing a total waste of time, fumbling whatever opportunity he had to be relevant.

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

Sean Hannity and Fox News are Up to Their Hair Plugs in the Lev Parnas Affair

With each new day there are new and damning revelations affirming Donald Trump’s criminal behavior related to Ukraine and efforts to manufacture dirt on Joe Biden and subvert the 2020 election. The latest bombshells come from Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, whose nefarious activities include extorting Ukrainian President Zelensky and surveilling former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovich.

Fox News Sean Hannity

Parnas was interviewed on MSNBC Wednesday by Rachel Maddow in a wide ranging discussion that made it clear that Trump “knew exactly what was going on” and was lying about his feigned ignorance of Parnas and his mission. But the evidence of Trump’s guilt is abundant. Also interesting is the evidence of Hannity’s guilt, and that of Fox News.

Proof is emerging of Hannity’s relationship with the Giuliani Crew. Hannity himself is in bed with Parnas. They have had communications that resulted in Hannity tweeting about bogus allegations of Ukrainian interference in the U.S. election to help Hillary Clinton. That tweet was deleted, but remains archived. Trump, however, didn’t delete his subsequent tweet promoting Hannity’s story on the subject that same night. Likewise, The Giuliani Crew also communicated with Don Trump Jr, who posted a tweet attacking Yovanovich. So their is an unbroken chain of propaganda circling around between Trump, Giuliani, his Ukraine mob, Fox News, and back to Trump and his crime family.

What’s more, Parnas had much to share about the complicity of Fox News in Trump’s plot to coerce Zelensky into helping him smear Biden. The Giuliani team worked with right-wing author John Solomon to disseminate their lies. At the time Solomon worked for The Hill, but is now employed by Fox News. So naturally Hannity unleashed a furious assault on Parnas and the network that hosted him. Hannity’s rage was so intense that he lapsed into the sort of incoherent outbursts you might hear from a paranoid schizophrenic on a street corner shouting at passing cars (video below). He began…

“Yesterday, last-ditch effort, Hail Mary, smear job, yup the congenital liar attached new documents to the articles of impeachment. Including so-called evidence from a former Giuliani contact. Oh by the way on conspiracy TV. The guy is facing federal charges from the Southern District of New York. You don’t really want to mess with those people.”

Did you follow that? Apparently Hannity is upset that new incriminating evidence about Trump has come out. But he can’t rebut any of it, so he unloads a barrage of nasty adjectives. He glosses over the fact that Parnas is working with Trump’s lawyer, but hones in on his having been indicted. And while Hannity is adamant that that’s a problem for Parnas, it doesn’t seem to be a problem for other Trump comrades who are under indictment or already convicted, including his campaign chairman Paul Manafort, his national security adviser Michael Flynn, his personal attorney Michael Cohen, and his fixer Roger Stone. Hannity continued…

“So [Parnas] goes right to state-run MSDNC conspiracy channel media. Keep in mind when people like him, trying to stay out of jail, think about this, how many times have we heard from the liberals ‘oh you can’t waterboard, or use enhanced interrogation because people will say anything, they’ll lie to make it end.’ Well people trying to stay out of jail, in my humble opinion, they’ll say anything.”

Now Hannity thinks that MSNBC is “state-run” media. You have to wonder what state Hannity thinks that it’s being run out of. It must be the “Deep State.” And it’s cute that Hannity is trying to connect an indicted defendant giving testimony to waterboarding. No one has tortured Parnas. He is simply doing what many defendants do when faced with prosecution. He’s turning state’s evidence. That’s a voluntary action to secure a lighter sentence. And it does not have the pitfalls of torture, where victims will indeed say anything to make it stop. A defendant providing testimony must tell the truth or any agreement made with prosecutors is null and void.

However, Hannity’s description of defendants saying anything to stay out of jail actually fits Trump much better. After all, he is known to be a pathological liar anyway. And he doesn’t have any agreement with prosecutors to worry about voiding. He’s lying through his capped teeth to avoid prison. And he clearly doesn’t care what he says, or how ludicrous the lie, if he thinks it will either deflect from his guilt or help him to evade accountability. The whole lot of them are neck deep in criminal behavior. And if more disclosures like those Parnas is serving up come to pass, they are all going to be sharing a cell block.

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

Fox News Hits Record High Ratings of a Measly 0.8% of American Viewers in 2019

If there’s one thing we can learn from 2019 it’s that hostile, melodramatic lies can boost the profits of a flagrantly biased organ of propaganda like Fox News. The right-wing network abandoned all pretense of journalistic integrity (what little it had) in order to sign on to the Donald Trump White House’s perverse distortions of reality.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Hate Again

The reward for Fox News was the undying devotion of an audience of willfully blind cult followers who agreed to believe only what they saw on Fox and heard from Dear Leader Trump. And their loyalty helped propel Fox News to the number one cable news network for the year.

Fox News – and their number one viewer, Donald Trump – surely celebrated this achievement. But as the year comes to a close it’s important to place this statistic in perspective. The numbers that produced this “victory” represent about 2.5 million viewers per night, or about 0.8% of the television audience on the United States. That’s not exactly a commanding presence of disinformed boob-tubers with eyes glazed over and chanting wingnut slogans.

Of course, any contribution to the thinly populated MAGA cult is troubling and can have negative consequences. But knowing that they are safely confined within the walled off world of Fox News makes their impact nearly irrelevant. The bigger problem with Fox is when they manage to persuade other news organizations that they have any credibility and use that to further spread their fabrications and slander.

The bragging rights for Fox News have always been the result of their having corralled all of the nation’s conservative TV news audience into their single channel pen. Meanwhile, all the other news networks are splitting up the rest of the viewers, which dilutes their total audience. But in 2019, just the combined numbers for MSNBC (1.75 million) and CNN (972,000) exceed the total for Fox News. So anyone who tries to argue that Fox’s numbers are proof of a conservative majority in the country are engaging in the same sort of dishonesty that is the hallmark of Fox News.

While Fox’s average numbers did earn them the top spot for the year, that doesn’t mean that they resided there the whole time with every program. In fact, Rachel Maddow beat her time period competition, Sean Hannity, for the entire first quarter of the year. She also won the months of September, October, and November. And both “Deadline: White House with Nicole Wallace” and “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” won their time periods for the year outright.

The real ratings disaster for the year was, once again, Donald Trump. He remains the most unpopular president since modern polling began. Even his favorite pollster, the disreputable and biased Rasmussen Reports, has him underwater with only 46% approving. And a recent Fox News poll showed that a majority of Americans (53%) have an unfavorable view of his job performance. In addition to that, a solid majority of 54% in the Fox poll said that Trump should be impeached, with 50% saying that he should also be removed from office. So whatever influence Fox News purports to have by snagging 0.8% of the television audience, it isn’t having much effect on the views of the American people. And that’s something Trump will surely post an angry tweet about before long.

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

Fox News Senior Legal Analyst on Trump: ‘The Remedy of Impeachment is Acutely Needed’

The impeachment of Donald Trump is finally being debated in the House of Representatives. The outcome is not expected to surprise anyone. Trump will be be impeached and will wear that mantle of disgrace for the rest of his life. Even if the Senate fails to remove him from office, the stain of impeachment is an indelible affirmation that Trump breached his constitutional duties and betrayed his country.

Donald Trump Walking the Plank

The partisan players in this battle are easily recognizable in most instances. Republicans and Fox News pundits are staunchly devoted to Trump regardless of what laws he has been shown to have broken. But every now and then someone steps out from behind the curtain of political prejudice to act as an advocate of truth and justice.

Now, as Trump’s impeachment looms, a lone voice from Fox News is standing up to the right-wing group-think that the network so rigidly enforces. Andrew Napolitano is Fox’s Senior Legal Adviser. And on Wednesday morning, as Congress was weighing Trump’s fate, Napolitano penned an op-ed with the headline: “Trump impeachment: Undisputed evidence that he abused his power.”

The article was published in the arch-conservative Washington times. For some reason, Fox News has been spiking Napolitano’s commentaries that support Trump’s impeachment. And this article had some blunt opinions on the matter. For instance…

“In Mr. Trump’s case, we have undisputed evidence that he abused his power by inviting a foreign government to interfere in the 2020 presidential election and then compounded this by directing subordinates to refrain from giving congressionally commanded evidence of his behavior.”

“It is undisputed that Mr. Trump withheld the delivery of the $391 million in military aid to Ukraine that Congress authorized and ordered and that Mr. Trump himself signed into law. He said he withheld that aid because he first wanted “a favor” from the president of Ukraine. The favor, requested by others on Mr. Trump’s behalf, was the announcement of a Ukrainian government criminal investigation of Mr. Trump’s potential political adversary, former Vice President Joe Biden.

“In the language of the streets, this is a shakedown; it sought to enhance Mr. Trump’s personal political needs and bears no relationship to American foreign policy.

Napolitano went on to describe the criminal violations Trump committed. They included the federal prohibition on soliciting campaign aid from a foreign government, and bribery. He also explained that these acts are crimes whether or not they are consummated by the exchange of money or services. It is the solicitation that triggers the offense.

And that’s not all. Napolitano also noted the criminal obstruction of justice by Trump for having “directed his subordinates to disregard congressional subpoenas, lawfully issued and validly served.” And he was troubled by Trump’s apparent belief that he is above the law. Napolitano made clear that this was dangerous, and that there is something that the Founders had in mind for just such a problem:

“Everyone who believes in the rule of law should be terrified of a president who thinks and behaves as if it does not apply to him. As the DOJ has stated repeatedly, impeachment is the proper constitutional remedy for that.”

Trump has been frantically trying to dodge accountability for his clearly impeachable activities. But his legal basis is virtually nonexistent, and he has refused to even defend himself before the committees of jurisdiction in Congress. Instead, he relies on bootlicking Fox News hacks like Gregg Jarrett and Alan Dershowitz (each of which he retweeted six times on Wednesday) for legal advice. Even worse, his idea of “legal scholars.” is Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson.

Former federal judge Napolitano, on the other hand, says that “the remedy of impeachment is acutely needed.” But you can rest assured that Trump will dismiss that as fake news and malign Napolitano (who was a close friend of Trump’s for decades) as a Never-Trumper. That’s just how the mind of a paranoid narcissist works.

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

Trump’s Impeachment in the House is All that Matters – The Senate Cannot Acquit

The United States House of Representatives is set to impeach Donald Trump next week, making him only the third American president to suffer this indignity. However, many pundits and pro-Trump media bootlickers are misrepresenting the gravity of this affair. There is a contingent of excusers who seek to dismiss its significance if the Senate doesn’t vote to remove Trump from office.

Donald Trump, Impeach

Trump himself has been making noises that he is anxious to have the impeachment move from the House to the Senate where he believes he will be coddled by sycophantic Republican loyalists. That, however, is a thinly veiled facade of bravado that is betrayed by his frantic tweetstorming (hitting a record of 123 in one day). Clearly Trump is consumed with fear and anxiety at the thought of being branded for life with impeachment.

The argument circulating the GOP drain is that a failure to oust Trump from office is tantamount to an acquittal. But that relies on the false analogy that the House impeachment vote is akin to an indictment, after which the Senate conducts a trial. But a more accurate analogy would be to cast the House as the de facto courtroom and impeachment there is a conviction. After all, the language of the Articles of Impeachment state flatly that “President Trump has abused the powers of the Presidency in a manner offensive to, and subversive of, the Constitution.” Note that it doesn’t say he is charged with abuse of power, but that he “has abused” his power. Consequently, a “yes” vote is a finding of guilt.

The Senate’s role is, therefore, not one of a trier of fact, but more that of a sentencing hearing. The House establishes the facts and will shortly rule that Trump is guilty. The Senate decides if he should be punished by removal from office, or pardoned and allowed to complete his term. But the conviction stands.

Trump knows this and it is eating him up. That’s why he is putting so much pressure on his Senate defenders. It’s why Republican majority leader, Mitch McConnell, told Sean Hannity of Fox News that “I’m going to take my cues from the president’s lawyers.” McConnell went on to say that…

“Everything I do during this I’m coordinating with the White House counsel. There will be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this […adding that he’ll be in…] total coordination with the White House counsel’s office and the people who are representing the president in the well of the Senate.”

What’s more, the GOP Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, Lindsey Graham, told CNN that “I will do everything I can to make it die quickly […] I’m not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here.”

So the chairman of the Committee of jurisdiction and the majority leader have both stated publicly that they have no intention to conduct a fair, impartial hearing. In fact, they are openly conspiring with the defendant (Trump) to allow him to escape any punishment for his crimes. Which means they are admitting in advance to violating the oath that they will be taking prior to commencement of the hearing, which states that…

“I solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald John Trump, president of the United States, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: So help me God.”

This tells you precisely what these Republicans think about the Constitution, the law, and even God. That they are willing to brazenly and shamelessly breach this oath is evidence that their word is meaningless. And in taking this position before they begin deliberating, they are effectively cancelling any validity that their role in this might otherwise have had. As a result, the outcome of the Senate hearing is irrelevant. Which leaves the House vote to impeach as the final word on what will become Trump’s tarnished legacy. And if yo think that isn’t driving Trump nuts, see 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.

SRSLY? Trump Cites Fox News Shills as ‘Legal Scholars’ to Dismiss Impeachment Report

The impeachment of Donald Trump has now moved from the House Intelligence Committee to the House Judiciary Committee. And with that the legal arguments for the constitutional grounds for impeachment are coming to the forefront of the public discourse. A panel of law professors are the first witnesses to appear before this committee. But Trump has his own laughably obtuse ideas on the matter.

Donald Trump, Constitution

Trump held several press avails with foreign leaders during his trip to London for the NATO summit. In each of them he managed to deliver blatantly political screeds that exalted himself and maligned his critics. But on one occasion he offered his opinion of the report written at the conclusion of the House impeachment hearings. Not surprising, he was less than impressed. He had the following exchange with a reporter (video below):

REPORTER: Do you want to comment on the House Democrats impeachment report that came out last night and the hearing today?

TRUMP: Well, I saw it and it’s a joke. Everybody is saying it. I watched reviews. I watched Sean Hannity. I watched Laura Ingraham. I watched Tucker Carlson. I watched a lot of other legal scholars.

REALLY? So now Trump is passing off right-wing hacks on Fox News as the “legal scholars” he relies on to shape his views of impeachment. That’s even worse than his actual lawyers (i.e. Rudy Giuliani) and the other TV attorneys that he depends on for advice. And he’s admitting to watching an awful lot of TV while he’s at this international summit. He went on to site his longtime friend Alan Dershowitz and the Bill Clinton special prosecutor, Ken Starr, as additional sources of his legal opinions.

For some reason Trump failed to note that Fox News’ Senior Legal Analyst, Andrew Napolitano, concluded that the evidence of Trump’s impeachable behavior is overwhelming. He also left out the commentaries by Napolitano and staunch pro-Trump sycophant Andrew McCarthy, who both disputed the anti-impeachment arguments of committee witness Jonathan Turley. However, Trump did go on to repeat some of his recent lies relating to his popularity:

“I will tell you it’s a uniform statement pretty much right down the road. What they’re doing is a bad thing for the country. It’s of no merit. And the Republican Party has never been more unified, ever. They have never been as unified as they are right now.

“I’ve never seen anything like it where you have 197-0 where the Senate is very angry about it. I think the Senate I can say is angry. The Republican Party is angry. A recent poll came out 95% approval rating for me in the Republican Party which is a record. “

Nevermind that it is entirely irrelevant whether the Republican Party is unified. They are expected to be united in defense of their president. That doesn’t have any bearing on his guilt. And more to the point, Trump’s assertions as to the unity of the GOP being uniformly in favor of Trump is simply false. He has never been able to provide a source for 95% approval, but a recent poll put the number at 74%. And majorities of the American people are solidly in favor of impeaching Trump and removing him from office.

Trump is living in a fantasy world where he is beloved by all and everyone agrees with him on everything. The truth is that he is the most unpopular president in modern times who has never even hit 50% approval. And it’s downright pathetic that he has to resort to partisan hacks like Hannity to justify his delusions on the legality of impeachment. He might as well be citing Lionel Hutz.

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

Fox News Ratings Continue to Sink During Month of Trump’s Impeachment Hearings

One of the most nauseating things about Donald Trump is how deliberately he has decimated the standards of honesty for the U.S. presidency. And while there is nothing he won’t lie about, his falsehoods are frequently employed to boost his own fragile ego. This is a man who began his term by lying about the size of his inauguration audience. He lies about his popularity among Republicans. He routinely lies about the attendance at his cult rallies. And lately he has been obsessed with lies about the impeachment hearings hurting Democrats.

Fox News, Titanic

Contrary to Trump’s plaintive whining, polls show that it’s his own approval rating that has suffered throughout the impeachment hearings. A majority of Americans still favor his impeachment and removal from office. But that isn’t the only downside for Trump World. His state TV propaganda network, Fox News, is also being dragged down by the loathing he has cultivated for himself and his Republican Nationalist Party.

The numbers for the month of November tell a tale of woe for Trump’s media minions. Year to year, Fox News viewership for the total day in the all-important 25-54 year old demographic declined 11%. That compared to MSNBC’s rise of 5%. Fox’s daytime ratings in the demo declined 5% (MSNBC was up 19%). And Fox’s primetime schedule featuring Trump-fluffers Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity, dropped 12% (MSNBC was up 8%).

MSNBC’s strong performance was once again driven by Rachel Maddow. Her program handily beat Hannity with an average audience of 572,000 a night. Hannity, Fox’s top rated program, trailed with only 554,000. But she wasn’t alone. Chris Hayes, Lawrence O’Donnell, and Brian Williams all notched highs for the year in their time periods. Williams ranked No. 1 in his timeslot among adults 25-54. On the dayside, Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace was the most-watched cable news show at 4:00pm for the third straight month.

This is the second straight month where MSNBC’s growth outpaced Fox News. And it’s the third straight month that Maddow has topped Hannity. During most of this time the news has been consumed by contentious issues like impeachment and the 2020 election. Fox News has juiced its programming with live, interrupted coverage of Trump’s rallies (19 so far this year). But even that Trumpioid-fix for addicted Trump cultists didn’t keep viewers from fleeing.

Democrats should learn from this that they need to keep up the pressure on Trump. It’s not only educating the public about his criminal activities, it’s having a positive impact on impeachment in the polls, and on ratings for programs that aren’t afraid to tell the truth about Trump. Democrats need to ignore Trump’s impotent wailing about “witch hunts” and lies about how adored he is. He isn’t. And the more we point that out, the lower he sinks into the abyss of his own lies.

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

Fox News Bosses Told Hannity and Other Trump-Fluffers Not to Identify Whistleblower

The right-wing media machine has been chomping at the bit to expose the identity of the intelligence community whistleblower. He/she has been at risk since filing a complaint with the Inspector General regarding Donald Trump’s “quid pro quo” phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky. That complaint led to Trump being pressured to release a “summary memo” of the phone call, that he falsely asserts is a verbatim transcript.

Fox News, Sean Hannity, White House

Ever since the complaint was filed, Trump has been rattled and fearful due to the obvious legal jeopardy that it puts him in. He has repeatedly tweeted “READ THE TRANSCRIPT” in an effort to exonerate himself. Nevermind that even his edited memo incriminates him further. Trump’s desperate objections have wandered into deranged territory. And subsequent to the whistleblower’s complaint, additional witnesses and evidence has emerged that make his/her account moot.

Nevertheless, Trump and his propagandist media continue to demand that the whistleblower’s identity be revealed and that he/she testify in person before Congress. That would violate the security measures that the whistleblower statutes were designed to protect. And it would subject the whistleblower to potential harm. Consequently, Fox News found it necessary to advise their on-air “personalities” to refrain from reporting the alleged name of the whistleblower that has been floating around in wingnut media circles. CNN acquired a copy of the Fox News memo and reported that…

“…on October 31, a Fox executive sent an email to staffers that said the network had not ‘independently confirmed [the] name or identification of the anonymous whistleblower.’ A copy of the email was obtained by CNN Business.

“The executive further advised production staffers to ‘NOT fulfill any video or graphic requests’ related to the whistleblower’s identity.”

Among the hosts on Fox that were given these instructions was Sean Hannity. CNN reported that Hannity claimed to have “confirmed independently” the identity of the whistleblower, but declined, so far, to name the person on air. “But you know what?” Hannity said, “I will play the game for a little bit.” Then he pretended to not be afraid of being sued by the whistleblower’s attorney.

CNN’s report also included a paragraph that should be required in every article about Fox News:

“Much of Fox effectively operates as a messaging arm of the White House. Its opinion hosts have defended the President at nearly every turn, and the network employs a stable of pro-Trump contributors who appear throughout the day to offer commentary. Fox’s news anchors and journalists also frequently cover the day’s news from angles beneficial to the Trump White House.”

Well said. But Fox’s admonition to it’s personnel is not likely to be sufficient protection for the whistleblower. Hannity and others on the network have defied their bosses before, with little or no consequences. And people like Sen. Rand Paul are also claiming to know the whistleblower’s identity and threatening to release it. The StormTrumpers are fully prepared to violate the whistleblower statute without concern for the his/her welfare, or for the principle of confidential reporting of wrongdoing in the government.

Their intention is to scare off any other potential whistleblowers who discover criminal or unethical behavior. Which is a pretty good indicator that there is more illegal activity that has yet to be revealed. Hopefully, the patriots in government will stand strong and do what’s right despite these threats. They are a lifeline to keeping government honest and holding wrongdoers accountable.

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