Hannity Worries as Fox News Insiders Complain ‘We’re Being Defined By the Worst People on Our Air’

There has been much speculation about the future direction of Fox News following Disney’s acquisition of most of the Fox entertainment assets. Rupert Murdoch remains at the helm of the cable “news” network, while his son Lachlan runs the new, shrunken Fox Corporation. Insiders are wondering about whether the network will continue to be the State TV division of the Donald Trump administration.

Fox News Sean Hannity

Now Gabriel Sherman of Vanity Fair is reporting that some changes may be in store for Fox News. Sherman has been a reliable source about what goes on behind the curtains at Fox. He wrote the definitive biography of the late, disgraced Fox CEO Roger Ailes, The Loudest Man in the Room. In his new article he sheds some light on the rumblings within an organization that has widely come to be seen as a propaganda mouthpiece for an authoritarian style White House regime:

“Donald Trump’s alliance with Fox News has been one of the few constants throughout his shambolic presidency. But in recent days, that bond has shown signs of fraying. […] Fox journalists, bristling at being branded an arm of the Trump White House, are lobbying Fox News C.E.O. Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace to rein in Fox & Friends, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs and Pirro. ‘Reporters are telling management that we’re being defined by the worst people on our air,’ a frustrated senior Fox staffer told me.”

Actually, most Fox News reporters are doing much of that branding themselves. While the primetime StormTrumpers set the tone for the network (with few signs that they are being reined in), the other hosts and contributors either back them up or decline to repudiate the lies and insults that are the red meat of Fox’s editorial mission.

Trump recently took a gentle swipe at Fox News for briefly suspending one of his favorite fluffers, Jeanine Pirro due to her virulently racist comments about Muslim representative Ilhan Omar. He also propped up Tucker Carlson following his offensive remarks on a shock-jock radio show, and gave what he must believe is the ultimate insult to Shepard Smith by saying that he belongs on CNN.

Sherman writes that the alleged “civil war” at Fox will be decided by Lachlan Murdoch, who is described as a “Libertarian conservative, not a MAGA diehard.” He suggests that the hiring of former DNC chair Donna Brazile signals a change in direction for Fox. That’s a weak argument considering that they also just hired the radical wingnut former congressman Trey Gowdy, who led the GOP-controlled committee that wasted years and millions of dollars on Benghazi hearings that produced nothing but ridicule for the Republican Hillary fetishists.

One of the most compelling disclosures in Sherman’s reporting concerned Sean Hannity, Trump’s shadow chief-of-staff:

“Sources said Hannity is angry at the Murdochs’ firing of Ailes and Bill Shine, Hannity’s close friend and former producer. Hannity believes the Murdochs are out to get Trump. ‘Hannity told Trump last year that the Murdochs hate Trump, and Hannity is the only one holding Fox together,’ a source who heard the conversation told me. Hannity has told friends that he intends to leave Fox when his contract expires in early 2021, two people who’ve spoken with him said.”

You have to wonder where Hannity would go if he left Fox News. Other Fox alum have not fared so well outside that fortress of rightist disinformation. For instance, where are Glenn Beck, Greta Van Susteren, Bill O’Reilly, and Megyn Kelly today? What’s more, Hannity’s egotistical opinion that he’s the glue binding Fox together is laughable. For one thing, he’s losing his time period to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. For another, his Fox stablemate, Tucker Carlson, is outperforming him on Fox. And the network still has Laura Ingraham, Neil Cavuto, Jesse Watters, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends slobbering all over Trump.

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

Finally, Sherman’s sources tell him that Fox News could be on the auction block. That would be an interesting development that would leave the Murdochs with just the broadcast entertainment network, their station group, and some cable sports channels. But even if Rupert were willing to let go (doubtful), who would buy Fox News? What media enterprise would benefit from owning a disreputable news outlet whose advertisers are fleeing in droves? Would the Murdochs (who are still the majority shareholders) allow a sale to Jeff Bezos? Or would they look for a conservative billionaire to ride up on a white (nationalist) horse? Time will tell.

Is Donald Trump the President of the United States, or of Fox News Marketing and PR?

The torrid love affair between Donald Trump and Fox News has never been exactly secret. Fox has given him more free airtime than any other public figure. And he has granted them more interviews (40+) than all other news networks combined. And all of the exposure has been unceasingly adoring. Trump even had a weekly segment on Fox and Friends (Mornings with Trump) long before his presidential aspirations.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Fake

The recent article in the New Yorker by Jane Mayer neatly sewed together much of the evidence proving that Fox News is not merely a conservative leaning network, but a blatantly biased propaganda mouthpiece for the President. And to demonstrate that it isn’t a relationship they are ashamed of, both Fox and Trump have escalated their fetishistic fondness for one another since the article was published. Trump, in particular, has unleashed a rash of promotions of Fox News and the shills who call it home. Just in the last four days Trump has posted ten videos from Fox:

  1. Lou Dobbs on Trump’s phony national emergency
  2. Lou Dobbs with cartoon pundits Diamond and Silk
  3. Outnumbered ranting about a “Witch Hunt”
  4. Jason Chaffetz exhibiting his undying Hillary Clinton fetish
  5. Fox and Friends pushing Trump’s idiotic vanity wall
  6. Maria Bartiromo obediently maligning the FBI
  7. Mark Levin spending seven minutes fluffing Trump with Bill Bennett
  8. Tucker Carlson doing the fake history of the Russia “hoax”
  9. Sean Hannity lying about a Democratic conspiracy against Trump
  10. Sean Hannity succumbing to his ludicrous “Deep State” dementia

Remember, this is the president who says that he doesn’t have time to watch TV because of all the documents that he has to read (as if he can read). But not only does he have plenty of time to watch TV, he even has time to feverishly post tweets of his viewing. And this doesn’t even count the numerous textual tweets that reference things he just saw on Fox News.

Last week Trump’s viewing was sufficiently disturbed that he plaintively pleaded with Fox News to return Jeanine Pirro, who Fox briefly suspended due to her flagrantly racist comments about Muslim representative Ilhan Omar. He also stood up for Tucker Carlson whose past bigotry, and boorish profanity, was revealed in recordings from his radio guest spots with Bubba, the Love Sponge.

These promos for Fox News are pure puffery on behalf of the President for his favorite bootlicking broadcaster. It is wholly unprecedented in American politics. And the marketing executives at Fox News must be thrilled. The question is whether Trump is volunteering this assistance to Fox, or if Fox is directing it.

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

Flip-Flop: Glenn Beck Now Says that Not Reelecting Trump Would Be ‘The End of the Country’

Rising from the ashes of his failing media dung heap, Glenn Beck has reemerged to prove that nobody is a better at hyperbolic inanities than the once and future master of the blackboard arts. Best known as a conspiracy crackpot, Beck has faded into the ether while grasping desperately at straws to revive his joke of a career.

Glenn Beck

However, Fox News, the one platform that still honors the brand of idiocy that Beck excels in, has thrown him a anchor in the hopes of inflating the prospects of Donald Trump’s reelection. What could go wrong?

Beck appeared with Sean Hannity on Monday night and was characteristically Beck-ish. The key take-away from this love fest between two Trump-fluffers was Beck’s frantic assertion that “If the Republicans don’t win in this next election, I think we are officially at the end of the country as we know it.”

That’s a bold statement. Especially coming from someone who said that ObamaCare would be the country, and that Obama’s reelection would be the end of the country, and that gay marriage would be the end of the country, and that Common Core education reform would be the end of the country, and that fluorides poisoning our vital fluids (h/t Dr. Strangelove) would be the end of the country. Virtually everything that Beck ever mentioned would produce the onset of an apocalypse that would be unavoidable. Including Donald Trump.

Glenn Beck, November 2016: “This guy [Trump] is dangerously unhinged. And, for all the things people have said about me over the years, I should be able to spot Dangerously Unhinged.”

So what might have brought about this 180 degree flip-flop on the part of Beck, who is ordinarily so stable and consistent (that’s sarcasm, btw)? Could it have something to do with the fact that his media empire is floundering? The guy who previously tried to rescue his sinking career by admitting that “So much of what I used to believe was … a sham,” has suffered an economic Armageddon of his own. His Blaze Media enterprise, which once boasted aspirations of being the next Disney, has run through a throng of executives and pallets of cash. Recently it agreed to a desperation merger with CRTV, a puny right-wing video blog run by Fox News’ Mark Levin.

Apparently, that wasn’t enough to save his sorry arse either. So he shows up Sean Hannity’s Trump Suck-Up Hour to try to reinvent himself once more in the mold of the neo-fascist demagogue he originally sought to be. But with an even more pathetic and subservient demeanor that kowtows to both Hannity and Trump. It would sad if it weren’t so gratifying that these jerks eventually get what they deserve.

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

Trump Confirms that Fox News is State TV in Bonkers Defense of Bigotry, Pirro, Carlson, et al

Now there can be no further dispute. Donald Trump has made it absolutely clear that Fox News is unambiguously State TV, and that the Trump White (Nationalism) House is inextricably intertwined with the network’s mission of propaganda and right-wing tyranny.

Donald Trump

During Trump’s regularly scheduled Sunday Tweetstorm, the President unleashed one of his most deranged outbursts of all time. It was a sustained assault on the free press, freedom of speech, the First Amendment, and a democratic government that honors individual freedom. While Trump has always been an opponent of the media – which he refers to in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people” – he has taken his hostility to a new low that provides incontrovertible evidence that his regime and Fox News are conjoined partners in undermining the free society principles that the United States were founded on.

Trump began his Sunday sermonizing with an attack on Saturday Night Live, which he seems to be unaware was a rerun:

That’s right. The flailing Snowflake-in-Chief is now spending his time barking at comedians, even though there supposedly a “national emergency” in progress. But even worse, he thinks that his government agencies should have the power to investigate these comics due to their having the audacity to make fun of him. If he doesn’t like it, he shouldn’t give them so much material. But his inclination to use oppressive state measures to silence them should worry every patriotic American. And it wasn’t the first time he’s done this either.

What’s more, his impotent swings at SNL also include crazy allegations that the funny folks on late night TV are the ones colluding with Russia, a nation not well known for its sense of humor. And he follows that up with the false assertion that he enjoys a fifty-two percent approval rating. He got that from an ultra-biased Rasmussen poll that is now a moth old. Rasmussen currently has him at forty-eight percent, while most other polls put him the thirties.

However, if you think any of that was proof that Trump has lost his mind, you might want to sit down. Because he was just getting warmed up. His next tweets contained more of his psychotic whining about a “Witch Hunt,” followed by a personal attack on John McCain’s intelligence. How utterly repulsive for Trump to go after a dead senator/veteran who can’t defend himself. Especially for something that Trump is notably lacking in. Trump even had his “fixer” threaten his schools to keep his records secret.

Finally, Trump disgorged himself with a what could only be described as a slobbering suck-up to Fox News, the network that defends his every atrocity and maligns his critics with outright lies. What triggered Trump was the news that one of his adoring bootlickers, Jeanine Pirro, was bumped Saturday for a rerun of a tabloid documentary. While Fox wouldn’t comment on the preemption, it has been credibly speculated that they didn’t want her program to air so soon after the massacre at Muslim mosques in New Zealand, because of her recent Islamophobic comments. Based on that, Trump went to work on behalf of his bosses at Fox News:

Holy Crap! Trump is totally confirming that he and Fox News are locked in a political/governmental embrace that this country has never seen before. Not that we didn’t already know that, but Trump is shedding any pretense of independence that either of them might have sought to convey. And this comes at a time when Fox News has been trying to convince people that they are a legitimate news network capable of hosting a Democratic Party primary debate. Well, that’s blown all to hell now, isn’t it?

Trump has taken on the role of chief PR and marketing president for Fox News. And he’s offering advice that they “stay strong and fight back with vigor. Stop working soooo hard on being politically correct.” When exactly have they ever done that? Trump implores Fox to “fight for our Country,” by which he clearly means to fight for him. And he warns them to “Be strong & prosper, be weak & die!” Obviously Trump sees this as a war, and he expects casualties.

As with his own delusional perception of his approval, Trump thinks that America is on the side of Fox News. But MSNBC has been beating them regularly for several months. Rachel Maddow is crushing her competition, Sean Hannity, nearly every night. And because of the obsessive bigotry of hosts like Pirro and the disgusting Tucker Carlson, Fox News is losing audience, advertisers, and revenue at an alarming rate.

If it wasn’t enough that Trump is virtually drooling over his Fox sycophants, he also found it necessary to bash the few people on the network that have a modicum of integrity:

For the record, Shepard Smith just won a First Amendment award from the Radio Television Digital News Association. And in his speech he gave a backhanded slap at the “opinion” hosts on the network that he fervently tries to disassociate himself from. But if you aren’t a fawning Trump-fluffer you can expect him to bring his tiny “mushroom” hammer down on you.

This Twitter tirade is the best evidence yet that Fox News cannot be taken seriously as a news network. They certainly cannot be trusted to host a Democratic primary debate. They shouldn’t even be considered as a platform for interviews by anyone but devout Trumpists. If Trump thinks that crazed outbursts like this are helpful to Fox News, he is, as usual, pitifully mistaken. It only certifies that Fox is a brazenly partisan mouthpiece for Trump and his Republican Nationalist Party.

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

If Fox had any integrity they would repudiate Trump’s comments and insist that they don’t support such media bias. But don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen. Fox News knows that their audience is comprised mainly by loyal Trump cultists and they aren’t going to do anything that might alienate them or the racist white nationalists and neo-Nazis who wallow in this filth. These are the core components of their wretched business model.

Shepard Smith Brutally Roasts Fox News in First Amendment Award Acceptance Speech

There has been one voice on Fox News who has dared to challenge the doctrinal mission of America’s most nauseatingly right-wing network. Shepard Smith is an anomaly whose continued presence is something of a mystery. As part of the so-called “news” side of Fox News (which doesn’t really exist), Smith has repeatedly exposed the lies that his own colleagues disseminate on a daily basis.

Fox News, Shepard Smith, Donald Trump

Smith has done segments where he slammed the network’s narrative on former Donald Trump advisor Michael Flynn. He ridiculed the administration’s immigration hysteria. He spelled out precisely why the Mueller investigation is legitimate and warranted. He even got into a war of words with Sean Hannity and the other “opinion” meisters on Fox, separating himself from whatever it is that they do:

“We serve different masters. We work for different reporting chains, we have different rules. They don’t really have rules on the opinion side. They can say whatever they want. If it’s their opinion. I don’t really watch a lot of opinion programming. I’m busy.”

Smith must have some pretty embarrassing photos of Rupert Murdoch locked away somewhere. His departure from the approved political Foxisms frequently contradicts the commentaries by other hosts and contributors. By provided detailed and factual reports on issues that Fox regulars routinely lie about, he’s exposing them as purposefully dishonest. But he’s getting away with it, so far.

The most recent swipe at his network pals came while Smith was receiving a First Amendment award from the Radio Television Digital News Association (video below). His remarks did not explicitly identify any individual or program, but the tone was unmistakably critical of the flagrantly biased Trump sycophants who litter most of the Fox News schedule. Smith said that:

“Being accurate and honest and thorough and fair is our primary mission. It’s our professional calling. And everyone on my team takes it extremely seriously. […] We must never manipulate or invent. We must never knowingly deceive. Because to do so is a disservice to our audience and potentially injurious to our society. I am convinced that upon those who intentionally misinform, history will poorly reflect. The times ahead will test all of us as finders and disseminators of accurate information.”

Those words must sting Hannity, and Laura Ingraham, and Tucker Carlson, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends, like holy water stings the devil. Their whole reason for being is to manipulate, invent, and deceive. They are Trump’s first line of defense, as well as the hostile flank assembled to malign Democrats and other Trump critics.

Fortunately, the glow of Fox News is weakening as both their audience and their advertisers are fleeing the network. They are rapidly tiring of the relentless negativity and lies. And Fox isn’t helping themselves by allowing blatant hate speech to be broadcast without any repercussions. The result is that MSNBC has been beating Fox on a regular basis for the past four months, with Rachel Maddow leading the way as the most watched program on cable news.

You have to wonder how much longer Shepard Smith will be able to make fools of his Fox associates and keep his daily program. The cult of Fox News (aka the cult of Trump) is not exactly comfortable with Smith, who they demand be fired at once. Their hostile and profane attacks are proof that the network is aimed at a hive-mind audience of blind followers who can’t tolerate any exposure to facts, or diversity of opinion. Consequently, Smith is trying their patience by providing some occasional truths and having the audacity to win awards that honor the First Amendment – something that Fox News and Trump bitterly oppose.

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

Fox News Blacklists Conservatives for ‘Refusing to Fawn Over President Donald Trump’

Earlier this week Jane Mayer of the New Yorker published an exhaustive treatise detailing how Fox News and Donald Trump’s White House have become inextricably intertwined. The article presented numerous examples of the network working hand in hand with the administration to either whitewash Trump’s failures or malign his critics. While the political bias of Fox News is not a revelation, the aggregation of so much evidence in one story has a had a real impact.

Fox News, Censorship

Among those impacted was the Democratic National Committee (DNC), who shortly after the article was published reversed their prior position of allowing Fox News to host a Democratic primary debate. That was never a good idea, but it took the voluminous presentation by Mayer to convince the DNC. And subsequently, more testimony to Fox’s propagandistic aspirations have come to light.

Bernard Goldberg was once a familiar face on Fox’s right-wing roster. He was a frequent contributor to the O’Reilly Factor before Bill O’Reilly was fired for multiple instances of sexual harassment that cost the network millions of dollars in settlement fees. O’Reilly’s termination occurred just a couple of months after Trump’s inauguration. And it wasn’t long after that that Goldberg found himself person non grata for an entirely different reason. According to Newsweek (because Goldberg’s website is blocked by a paywall):

“Goldberg detailed how Fox News executives refused to allow conservatives to criticize Trump and other right-wing figures, such as Sarah Palin. Goldberg wrote a Tuesday blog post on his personal website saying top figures at the cable network sought retribution against him after he complained Sean Hannity and other hosts were only flattering Trump and Palin during interviews rather than pressing them journalistically.”

Goldberg went on to lambaste Fox and singled out Sean Hannity for conducting interviews that “resemble wet kisses a lot more than journalism.” And he further alleged that Fox News was blacklisting any conservative on the network who wasn’t unwaveringly adoring of Donald Trump. But the banishment was strictly limited to disloyal conservatives.

“Fox will tolerate a liberal criticizing President Trump, I said, but the network didn’t want conservatives taking shots at him. Sometimes I defended the president against what I thought was unfair criticism. But I was also critical of Mr. Trump, of his vindictiveness and his dishonesty.”

This is the environment at Fox News as described by a stalwart conservative commentator. And the treatment he’s receiving isn’t unique to him. Fox previously jettisoned conservative Trump critics like David Frum, Bill Kristol, and George Will. It’s clear that anyone who strays from the approved doctrine will be excommunicated and banished.

Now some people are aghast that the DNC nixed Fox as a host for their primary debates. It seems unarguable that a network that has devoted itself to destroying Democrats through insults and lies ought not to recognized as a legitimate news enterprise and rewarded for their abuse. Indeed, Fox’s rabid hatred for Democrats even led one of their top personalities, Lou Dobbs, to tweet a call for Democrats to be prosecuted for abuse of power and treason. It’s also rather hypocritical to criticize Democrats for blacklisting Fox when Fox itself is blacklisting their own conservatives who they now feel have wandered off the wingnut trail.

Some of the critics of the DNC’s decision claim that Fox has some reputable journalists and shouldn’t be shut out. But that’s an absurd argument. No one would attend a convention of their mortal enemies simply because there might be a handful of neutral bystanders hanging around. And those who say that Democrats who are “afraid” to appear on Fox aren’t fit for office are also missing the point. Nobody is afraid of Fox. It isn’t fear that brought about this decision. Quite the opposite. It’s having the courage to smack down a loud, aggressive, bullying opponent who means you nothing but harm. And it’s having the intelligence to deny a phony “news” operation the legitimacy of your presence and participation.

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

The portrait that Goldberg paints of the editorial prejudices at Fox News corroborates everything that Mayer revealed in her article. And that article corroborates everything that many critics of Fox have been saying for years. And while the biases of Fox have been well known for a long time, they have gotten much worse during the Trump era. It is now a fully devotional cult worshiping clan wherein there is no discernible distinction between Fox and the Trump administration. And that is no place hold a “fair and balanced” debate for any political party.

Top 10 Reasons the DNC Was Right to Refuse a Fox News Hosted Democratic Primary Debate

A few weeks ago the chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Tom Perez, was asked by Fox News anchor Bret Baier whether he would consider scheduling a Democratic Party primary debate on Fox News. Perez responded saying “Absolutely, we’re having discussions with Fox and others.” That reply was widely criticized by Democrats appalled at the notion of rewarding the propaganda arm of the Trump White House with that kind of opportunity to continue their campaign of political sabotage.

Fox News Sad

However, after the publication of Jane Mayer’s article in the New Yorker that detailed the all-consuming embrace between Donald Trump and Fox News, it appears that Perez has had a wise and welcome change of heart. He now says that:

“I believe that a key pathway to victory is to continue to expand our electorate and reach all voters. That is why I have made it a priority to talk to a broad array of potential media partners, including Fox News. Recent reporting in the New Yorker on the inappropriate relationship between President Trump, his administration and Fox News has led me to conclude that the network is not in a position to host a fair and neutral debate for our candidates. Therefore, Fox News will not serve as a media partner for the 2020 Democratic primary debates.”

That decision should have been an easy one from the start. Fox News has not made a secret of it’s prejudices. They spend twenty-four hours a day promoting Trump as the savior of America, shielding him from any and all criticism, and viciously maligning Democrats and others who dare to challenge Trump’s divine right to absolute power.

It’s tempting to invoke analogies about putting foxes in charge of hen houses, but that’s way too easy. It would have to also include hiring Colonel Sanders to run the operation. And if anyone isn’t convinced that Fox News is unfit to produce an impartial and nonpartisan debate program, here are some recent segments that Fox has aired that reveal the extremities of their bias:

  1. Fox News accuses Democrats of advocating infanticide.
  2. Fox News brazenly lies to smear Democrats on a mission of mercy to reduce global poverty.
  3. Sean Hannity of Fox News thinks Americans shouldn’t ever see the Mueller report on Trump.
  4. Trump confirms that Fox News shills are his chief influencers.
  5. Fox News refused to run an ad for an Oscar-nominated anti-Nazi documentary.
  6. Tucker Carlson of Fox News insists that there was ‘no collusion’ between Trump and Russia because there just wasn’t any.
  7. Fox News Fails to see any Russian collusion in Roger Stone’s indictment.
  8. Fox News compares Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Hitler and Stalin in unhinged rant.
  9. Fox News airs Ruth Bader Ginsburg obituary graphic.
  10. Fox News hosts blatantly push him to declare a national emergency over his border wall funding.

Can anyone make a credible case for the network that spews those lies and slander to host a debate by the party they have been unambiguously trying to destroy? Well, Fox News senior vice president Bill Sammon can. He said that:

“We hope the DNC will reconsider its decision to bar Chris Wallace, Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, all of whom embody the ultimate journalistic integrity and professionalism, from moderating a Democratic presidential debate. They’re the best debate team in the business and they offer candidates an important opportunity to make their case to the largest TV news audience in America, which includes many persuadable voters.”

There is so much in there that is just plain nonsense. To begin with, it’s already been established that “journalistic integrity and professionalism” is nonexistent on Fox News. They do not have “the largest TV news audience in America.” In fact, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC has beaten her competition, Sean Hannity, nearly every night for four straight months. And Fox’s audience is the least persuadable bunch of right-wing cult worshipers in TV land. They are more reliably Republican voters than even members of the GOP. There simply isn’t a significant number of Fox News viewers who will ever vote for a Democrat.

Nevertheless, Fox News still believes that they should get a chance to host a Democratic debate. Despite being a network whose hosts and contributors have universally banded together to disparage special counsel Robert Mueller – an American hero who has devoted his entire life to public service – as a corrupt, conflicted, Stalinist, traitor to America. They remain silent when Trump calls the media “the enemy of the people.” creating an environment that encourages censorship and violence. They have advised Trump to act illegally by ignoring judicial rulings and issuing executive orders that violate the Constitution. And no one on Fox said a word when Trump declared that he knows – and could name – Democrats in Congress who hate America.

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

Does that sound like a network that should be allowed to host a debate by members of the party that they are railing against in the most despicable terms? Obviously Perez came to his senses by nixing Fox as a debate host. And if anyone thinks that it’s discriminatory, just remember that Trump has already nixed the networks that he doesn’t like. While he has give more than forty interviews to Fox News, he has given zero to CNN and MSNBC. And he is supposed to be the president of all the people, not just the GOP/Trump-friendly ones he finds at Fox News. The Democratic Party has no such obligation. And they certainly have no obligation to present themselves to their sworn enemies for an orchestrated political assault.

UPDATE: Naturally Trump weighed in on this via Twitter:

Which is funny, because he actually boycotted a Fox News debate himself. It was because he didn’t like Megyn Kelly who was one of the moderators. Now he’s all verklempt because Democrats don’t want to legitimize a network that does nothing but insult them.

Also, Trump has already done the same thing. He’s given 40+ interviews to Fox and zero to CNN and MSNBC. What’s more, most Americans would love it if he boycotted debates not on Fox. The less of him, the better.

FINALLY! Jane Mayer’s New Yorker Story Asks if Fox News has Become Trump Propaganda

Twenty-three years ago Rupert Murdoch (an international, ultra-conservative newspaper baron) and Roger Ailes (a Republican media consultant) joined forces to launch Fox News, an avowedly right-wing cable news network. It’s mission was to advance the agenda of the far-right and to malign Democrats and other liberals. Any objective observer recognized their intentions. They were spelled out openly in the slogan, “fair and balanced,” which implied that all the other news outlets were not. It’s a tactic they borrowed from cult marketing.

Donald Trump Fox News

Over time Fox News transformed into a mouthpiece specifically dedicated to Donald Trump. While it still promoted Republican policies, it was through a filter that first took into consideration the best interests of Trump. The evidence of this bias was everywhere. And now Jane Mayer of the New Yorker has compiled an exhaustive collection of it that seals the case. She may be two years late, but the historical value of her documentation is still worthwhile. Some of the key observations included this description of the place that Fox News came to occupy in American media:

“It has evolved into something that hasn’t existed before in the United States. Nicole Hemmer, an assistant professor of Presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center and the author of ‘Messengers of the Right,’ a history of the conservative media’s impact on American politics, says of Fox, ‘It’s the closest we’ve come to having state TV.’ […] ‘Fox is not just taking the temperature of the base—it’s raising the temperature,” she says. ‘It’s a radicalization model.'”

Indeed. Fox News set out to stir up the Trump Deplorables into a army of angry misfits who have literally threatened to start a civil war over what they regard as the mistreatment of their Dear Leader. And Trump has helped to inflame those sentiments by declaring that the media (which doesn’t include Fox News) is “the enemy of the American people.” He persists in that calculated characterization even after several domestic terrorists have targeted the media for assassination.

Mayer also noted that the intertwining of of the White House and Fox News turned it into a hybrid creature that interacted “so seamlessly that it can be hard to determine, during a particular news cycle, which one is following the other’s lead.” Actually, it isn’t that hard. Trump is too ignorant to come up with an original idea. It is clearly Fox News that is running the President’s show. Numerous examples of him live-tweeting what he sees on Fox have been documented.

This bizarre embrace is further evident in the revolving door relationship between Fox and the Trump administration, wherein his staff was littered with former Foxies, while former staffers often ended up on the network’s payroll. Perhaps the most egregious example of that was when Trump hired Bill Shine as his Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications. Shine was the former Fox News president who was fired for his role in enabling the sexual misconduct of Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly. He was also Sean Hannity’s producer before moving into the executive suites.

Mayer’s article covered a broad array of Fox News history. She wrote about Trump’s long personal relationship with Rupert Murdoch. She revealed that Fox had the Stormy Daniels story before other media, but declined to publish it because “Rupert wanted Trump to win.” She detailed how Trump sought to intervene in the AT&T/TimeWarner merger in order to punish CNN.

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

The whole article is worth the read for anyone interested in how Fox News became Trump’s propaganda division. But most of it is a just a very compelling retelling of the incestuous political/media affair that raged between Trump and Fox News. It’s useful to have this much information all in one place. And hopefully it will persuade some of the laggards who have been willfully blind to this conjoining of wingnuttery that allowing a criminal government to merge with an unethically biased media enterprise is both un-American and dangerous.

Rachel Maddow Stomps Sean Hannity with 4th Straight Monthly Win vs State TV (aka Fox News)

A couple of years ago Fox News was regarded as an invincible monolith on cable news that no other network could challenge. It was a fallacy created by their catering to a hard-core right-wing constituency that behaved like mesmerized cult worshipers, but it had the effect of corralling the whole demographic into a plurality of viewers while the other networks divided the rest of the audience.

Rachel Maddow, Sean Hannity, Fox News

However, that tactic has lost its potency. Ever since the midterm election in early November, the Rachel Maddow Show has dominated her time period and helped to boost the ratings of her MSNBC colleagues. For four straight months Maddow has beaten the previous time period champ, Sean Hannity, by significant margins.

For the month of February Maddow’s ratings improved by nine percent over the prior year. She was the most-watched cable news program among adults 25-54. She won all but three nights in the entire month. Meanwhile, Fox News has been struggling to keep people tuned in. Tucker Carlson was down four percent year-over-year in total viewers. Laura Ingraham was down six percent. And Hannity was off seven percent. In the coveted advertiser demo of 25-54 year olds, Hannity has lost nearly a quarter (23%) of his audience. In fact, the whole Fox News primetime roster is down in the demo by twenty percent.

The dominance of Maddow’s program has increased over time. And on February 27 (the day following the House Oversight Committee’s hearing with testimony by Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen), she had the highest rating ever for her show. This performance has resulted in MSNBC achieving ratings records overall. From Morning Joe in the AM, to Nicolle Wallace in the afternoon, to primetime, MSNBC has enjoyed double digit growth.

In addition to Fox’s ratings woes, they are also suffering an exodus of advertisers. Some of that is due to their declining ratings, but most of it is because advertisers just don’t want to be associated with programs that advocate bigotry and promote violence. It’s gotten so bad that the ad sales folks at Fox are afraid to even try selling these shows to advertisers. Consequently, Trump has had to be enlisted in a campaign to rescue the failing network’s biggest “stars.” And it’s a two-way street with Fox hosts like Hannity and Jeanine Pirro showing up at Trump’s cult rallies.

Television ratings can be fluid and swerve back and forth between various networks and programs. But the rise of MSNBC has defied the predictions of most analysts. And their sustained dominance over many months has been particularly surprising. This is no fluke. And it is not likely a coincidence that this success has occurred as Democrats have increased their presence in Washington, and the legal peril for Trump has exploded.

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

As Trump’s prospects continue to decline, more people will tune in to MSNBC for the real news that Fox ignores and suppresses. And as more people become informed, Trump’s fortunes will wither even more. It’s beautiful downward spiral for a criminal president and his TV sycophants.

The Fox News Fetish for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Just Keeps Getting Creepier: Ivanka Trump Edition

Ever since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was elected last November, the right-wing media has been beside themselves trying to slander her as an ignorant and un-American little brown girl who has no business having an opinion, much less serving in Congress. And no one has been more determined to disseminate this disparagement than Fox News.

Fox News, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson

Consequently, the State TV network reached out to Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, to deliver the administration’s smackdown on Ocasio-Cortez. Unfortunately, her interview merely revealed that she is a spoiled rich kid with no comprehension of what ordinary Americans are experiencing. She tried to respond to Ocasio-Cortez’s announcement that she intended to pay her staff a {gasp} living wage. Previously on Fox News this was greeted with a pathetic display of math illiteracy. And Ivanka’s response was equally embarrassing:

“I don’t think most Americans, in their heart, want to be given something. I’ve spent a lot of time traveling around this country over the last 4 years. People want to work for what they get. So, I think that this idea of a guaranteed minimum is not something most people want.”

So a woman who has lived her entire life off of what she was given by daddy is certain that other Americans wouldn’t want fair compensation for their work, which is all that Ocasio-Cortez is proposing. If this is what Ivanka learned from four years of traveling around the country, she has a severe learning disability. But she does have an excellent grasp of the sort of harebrained talking points required to be a Fox News pundit.

The obsession that Fox News is nursing every day is evidence that Ocasio-Cortez is one of the new class of representatives who Fox fears the most. There is no other explanation for how maniacally focused they are on her. She was only sworn in a month and a half ago, but Fox’s most prominent hosts are fixated squarely on her every word (as well as her youth, clothes, and dancing ability). The entire primetime roster on Fox all featured her on their programs Monday night. They were also transcribed into op-eds for the Fox website. The amusingly alarmist headlines and ledes were:

  • Sean Hannity: It’s scary how prominent Dems, the media are supporting Ocasio-Cortez and her socialist views.
    “We are once again featuring the 29-year-old socialist from New York who is both revered and feared inside her own party. […] But now, she is taking her insane views even a step further.”
  • Laura Ingraham: Spike Lee, Smollett, Ocasio-Cortez and her mini-mes tell us lots about modern day liberalism.
    “Like most of today’s social justice warriors, Ocasio-Cortez truly believes she is always morally right. And that notion entitles her to be one of the leaders of not the #MeToo movement, but the ‘Me-me-me’ movement.”
  • Tucker Carlson: How dumb, arrogant Ocasio-Cortez became the boss of the Democratic Party
    “It’s a measure of how cowardly impassive everyone has become all of a sudden that a chorus of right-thinking Democrats hasn’t told this idiotic windbag to be quiet and take a seat.”

These are the extreme, unhinged, and disrespectful lengths that the Foxies will go to in order to malign a committed, intelligent young woman who stepped up to serve her country. And the fear that she has stirred in their shriveled hearts is unmistakable. This is the sort of full-court press that the right generally reserves for Kenyan-born, terrorist-sympathizing, Muslim atheist commies who stole the presidency by actually getting a majority of the popular vote.

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

Ocasio-Cortez has earned this vitriol in record time. She should be proud that she has these dimwits from Fox News stalking her. It’s a validation of her effectiveness as an activist and a communicator. And at the same time it exposes Fox as a puerile confederacy of dunces who are utterly incapable of making a coherent response to someone they belittle as immature and inexperienced. Which, by the way, is a much better description of their Dear Leader, Donald Trump.