Trump’s Braintrust (Fox News) is Pushing Him to Declare a National Emergency to Get His Border Wall

The presidency of Donald Trump has distinguished itself for its hostility to the media and the Constitution’s protection of a free press. His tedious whining about “fake news” and his Stalinist references to the media as “the enemy of the people” are evidence of his desire to poison the public’s minds in order to suppress criticism of him and his administration.

Donald Trump, Fox News

That said, no president has ever been more closely intertwined with a media enterprise than Trump is with Fox News. Before his election he was a regularly scheduled contributor to Fox and Friends with a segment called “Mondays with Trump.” He limits his interviews to Fox News on a nearly exclusive basis. His administration is infested with former Fox News staffers. They include: Deputy Chief of Staff, Bill Shine, who was the president of the network before being fired for mishandling incidents of sexual harassment; ambassador to the United Nations nominee, Heather Nauert, a former Fox host; National Security Advisor, John Bolton, an ex-Fox contributor.

In addition, Trump employs current Fox News anchors as his de facto cabinet, getting advice on everything from the economy to military engagements, to taxes and more. Sean Hannity is reported to talk with the President almost every night before bedtime. Lou Dobbs is often on conference call during Oval Office meetings. Jeanine Pirro is a favorite consultant on legal matters. And Trump is frequently live-tweeting whatever he happens to be watching on Fox, day and night.

Recently, Trump was prepared to sign a bipartisan bill to keep the government open. But when Fox Newsies heard that it didn’t provide funding for his idiotic vanity wall, they went berserk. Subsequently, Trump reversed course, and now we find ourselves in what is about to become the longest government shutdown in history. Which makes it all the more troubling that many of Trump’s Fox faves are now imploring him to declare a national emergency as a tactic to fund the wall that has nothing to do with any emergency, and that most Americans oppose. For instance, as reported by Media Matters:

Sean Hannity: So, with the president speaking, I’m guessing he’s going to declare a national emergency. […] victims of crime happening in this country, that should be enough of a national emergency.

Lou Dobbs: This is the president of the United States. He says a wall should be built; that it’s a national emergency. At that point, the nation should rally behind him. […] It is a national emergency, it is a crisis, and there could be no rational disputation of that.

Lou Dobbs (again): I really believe that the way forward here is for him to declare a national emergency, and simply sweep aside the recalcitrant left in this country.

Stuart Varney: I think this total refusal to negotiate has pushed the president to the point where he has to declare an emergency on the border.

Rush Limbaugh: And so they empowered the executive branch with the National Emergencies Act. He can confiscate private businesses, if he wants. All he has to do is declare it a national emergency.

Gregg Jarrett: The National Emergency Act authorizes the president to declare an emergency, and nobody can second-guess him. He has unfettered authority. […] he can use the military, redirect them for construction of an unauthorized project, whatever it is, the president wants it to be. That can be the barrier wall, and nobody can stop him from doing it.

Bob Bianchi (Fox guest): To me, politically, it makes perfect sense. [for Trump to] invoke my powers as the president under the National Emergency Act and under one of these sub-acts that allows me to move funds around to build this border wall.

Tom Fitton (on Tucker Carlson Tonight): It is a national emergency when we have a thousand plus miles of unsecured border in our southern area without any ability to figure out who’s coming across. We know the terrorists are targeting [the] southern border.

Considering how gullible Trump is, and how easily influenced he is by his Fox News brain(?) trust, it’s a foregone conclusion that he’ll declare a national emergency. However, contrary to the ravings of Trump and Fox, he does not have unfettered authority to do so. It will undoubtedly be challenged in court. And since the facts don’t support any claim to a crisis, he’ll almost certainly lose. In the meantime, millions of people are hurt and the nation is stifled by Trump’s ignorance and ego. Hopefully that can all be avoided by Congress waking up and doing the right thing. But given the abdication of its civic duty, Mitch McConnell’s Senate has to be considered a long shot.

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

Rachel Maddow Beats Her Fox News Competition Every Single Day for the Whole Month of December

The new year is beginning with an incredible boost from the remarkable performance of Rachel Maddow’s program on MSNBC. She has been dominating her Fox New competition, Sean Hannity, ever since the midterm election in early November. But her numbers for December are truly spectacular and may indicate a monumental shift.

Rachel Maddow, Sean Hannity, Fox News

The success of Maddow’s program may even be getting to Donald Trump. While he has never tweeted about her since becoming president, he did run an ad on Facebook that featured her as his top nemesis. Trump is notoriously frightened by strong women (see his fearful behavior around House Speaker Nancy Pelosi). And he has good reason to be scared of Maddow. Her program provides some of the most incisive, detailed accounts of Trump’s criminality and analyses of the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. That attention to the facts in a comprehensible form has paid off for Maddow.

The Nielsen ratings for The Rachel Maddow Show have exceeded in almost every way possible. She beat the Sean Hannity show every single day for the entire month of December. Granted, he was on vacation for a small part of that time, but so was she. The numbers weren’t even close. Maddow topped Hannity by a whopping forty-seven percent in total viewers. She also whooped him by twenty-one percent in the all-important advertising demographic of 25-54 year olds.

What’s more, Maddow powered MSNBC to historic highs. The network was the third most-watched channel in primetime for all of cable TV, not just cable news. And it was the second most-watched basic cable network across the 24-hour day for 2018. It was the only network that posted double-digit growth over the prior year. And it was number one among African-American viewers for the year.

The rest of the MSNBC schedule also enjoyed record ratings. Lawrence O’Donnell, Brian Williams, and Nicole Wallace regularly beat their time-period competitors. And the dayside programs with Katy Tur, Andrea Mitchell, Ali Velshi, Stephanie Ruhle, Chris Hayes, etc., leaped to new highs. And all of this happened while Fox News either declined or made impotent gains of one or two percent.

This should inform the rest of the media that intelligent, honest, reporting and analysis is a winning programming strategy. The public is tired of deliberately hostile panels and ridiculous attempts to balance facts with lies and nonsense. And as the new year progresses with more revelations from Mueller and the expected oversight hearings in the new Congress, the media needs to rise to the occasion and fulfill its obligations to the people.

That means rejecting Trump’s anti-constitutional assaults on the free press that he frames in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.” Maddow proves that when the press respects the principles of ethical journalism, rather than devolving into State TV flunkies (aka Fox News) the people will reward them them with their viewership, trust, and loyalty.

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

Elizabeth Warren Slams the Fox News ‘Echo Chamber’ of ‘Fear and Hate’ in Presidential Campaign Video

On the precipice of a new year, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has released a video (below) announcing that she is forming an exploratory committee to test the waters for a prospective presidential campaign. She is the first of what will likely be a big pool of Democratic hopefuls seeking to cast out Donald Trump in 2020 – if he makes it that far (Mueller?).

Elizabeth Warren, Fox News

Notable in her video was the fact that she didn’t mention Trump’s name once. That will surely drive him nuts. There’s nothing he craves more than hearing his own name in pretty much any context. But she concentrated on bread-and-butter issues of importance to America’s middle class families. For instance, she laid out a platform that directly addresses the threat of corporatism and income inequality:

“I spent my career getting to the bottom of why America’s promise works for some families, but others who work just as hard slip through the cracks into disaster. And what I found was terrifying. These aren’t cracks that families are falling into. They’re traps. America’s middle class is under attack. How did we get here? Billionaires and big corporations decided they wanted more of the pie.”

Warren went on to link the political class to the problems that Americans are experiencing. She noted that the one-percenters “enlisted politicians [and] crippled unions.” to achieve their self-serving goals. And she pointedly stated that “Today corruption is poisoning our democracy.” She may not have said Trump’s name, but he was ever-present in her remarks.

It was also encouraging to see that Warren wasn’t shy about holding Fox News accountable for their contribution to the decline of Western Civilization. She took on the wealthy elites and Fox News saying forthrightly that:

“The whole scam is propped up by an echo chamber of fear and hate designed to distract and divide us.”

While she spoke those words there were images of Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Fox and Friends, and Laura Ingraham prominently displayed. She got in the whole primetime lineup, plus Trump’s favorite Fox News morning show.

This is the kind of fearless honesty that will be needed to beat Trump (or whatever GOP hack runs in his place) in 2020. You can rest assured that Fox News will there to advance the lies and hostility of the Republican agenda and defeat the champions of unfettered democracy who are fighting for the welfare of the majority of American citizens.

The Trump presidency has shown us that the GOP couldn’t care less about ordinary people, honest representation, or the rule of law. But it has also shown us that there are voters who are susceptible to flagrant deception and who are willing – even eager – to be lied to. They are the rubes that Fox News is designed to corral into the GOP camp. And the rest of us need to be alert and engaged in order to preserve our country and the democracy that it pioneered.

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

Scared Bro? Trump is Featuring Rachel Maddow in His Phony ‘Media Accountability’ Come-Ons

Throughout his public life – and especially while president – Donald Trump has demonstrated what an awful poker player he would be. He has what pros call a “a tell” that gives away what cards he’s holding. And for the most part, Trump is holding a hand that is panic full of fear. He displays that on a nearly daily (hourly?) basis with his insipid “Witch Hunt” tweets and his frantic attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller.

Donald Trump, Rachel Maddow

Of course, Trump is also squarely focused on the media that he refers to in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.” His frightened reaction to every new disclosure of wrongdoing by him or his crime family is obvious to anyone paying the least bit of attention. And the more he attacks CNN or the New York Times or whatever reporter happens to ask him the probing question of the day, the more he reveals what’s scaring him the most at that moment.

So what’s clearly scaring Trump now is MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” reelection committee just posted an ad Facebook that asks his dimwitted cult followers to take a survey, and Rachel Maddow is featured in the ad’s graphic, although not in the video to which it links. She’s the bait for this campaign that implores his fans to “Take the Survey.”

The alleged “survey,” however, is an old marketing trick aimed at getting respondents to sign up and divulge personal information, including their email addresses. These are later used to beg for donations and organize political events. The results of the fake survey are never published, and if they were they wouldn’t have any real value due to the smarmy tactics used to lure respondents. Like everything else Trump does, it is hardly scientific.

So what’s the news that has triggered Trump’s assault on Maddow, someone he rarely even mentions? Right now Maddow is perhaps the most insightful and effective commentator on Trump’s exploding legal problems. She is dissecting them in a coherent and relatable manner. But is that enough to set him off. After all, he has never tweeted about her since becoming president. Although he did retweet his son Eric once, nearly a year ago. And that retweet contains a clue:

Trump is very concerned about his friend, and “shadow” chief of staff, Sean Hannity. Lately Maddow has been beating the pants off of Hannity. She has dominated him in the ratings ever since the election last month. So far in December she has beaten him every single day in both total viewers and the all-important advertising demo of 25-54 year olds. So it looks like Trump is rushing in to rescue the floundering Hannity. Or maybe someone at Fox News reached out for this aid.

Let’s not forget that the former president of Fox News, Bill Shine (who was fired for mishandling the sexual misconduct of Fox CEO Roger Ailes and host Bill O’Reilly) is now Trump’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications. Or that Shine was Hannity’s producer before being bumped up to the executive suites. So it isn’t particularly surprising that Maddow would suddenly appear as the face of the “Mainstream Media … out to bring down [his] Administration.” In reality, he’s doing that pretty much on his own. Maddow is merely providing a factual chronicle of the criminal path that Trump chose for himself. But consistent with his warped character flaws, he’s determined to blame it on someone – anyone – else.

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

It’s Official! Lou Dobbs is the Undisputed “Most Deranged Lunatic” on Fox News for 2018

The competition was fierce. With perennial Fox News favorites like Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson and the rabidly incoherent “Judge” Jeanine Pirro vying for the title, a longshot contender has emerged from the pack for a clear and unchallenged victory. Congratulations to Lou Dobbs.

Fox News, Lou Dobbs

While no one can dismiss the efforts by Hannity to relentlessly defend Donald Trump from any and all criticism, even to the point of appearing at his cult rallies to make his endorsement in public, it wasn’t enough. And Carlson’s ceaseless support for the white nationalism that is the foundation of Trump’s base wasn’t enough either. All of it, including the infantile babbling from the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends, failed to knock Dobbs from his well deserved perch. Because how can you compete with material like this:

Charles Hurt, Washington Times: This is the entire problem that all of these people have. They all have been – have been peddling this fear-mongering, the end of the world nonsense.
Dobbs: Actually, the United Nations really wants to go a little bit beyond being a, if you will, a debate club. They’d like to take over the world. And they see the perfect opportunity in global warming. […] despite the fact that there is great, great debate over whether there is that quote-unquote “warming.”

That’s right. The United Nations is actively pursuing a plot of world domination. And their dastardly scheme is centered on a determination to prevent the Earth from becoming inhospitable for living creatures. How underhanded and devious of them. And Dobbs calls out these villains who he says are ignoring the “great, great debate” about the reality of climate change that is currently raging among the three percent of scientists (and 97% of Fox News shills) who deny that it’s happening. But this alone wouldn’t have secured Dobbs this great honor. He also unleashed this epic idiocy:

Dobbs: What in hell is wrong with the American people that they don’t understand this president deserves their support because he is trying to protect their lives and that of their children? […] Why shouldn’t it be frustrating to the American people to see [Trump] assailed every day? You’re watching in Robert Mueller a man trying to kill him.

Those damn American people! Somebody needs to put an end to them. Maybe the U.N. Dobbs also wondered why every preacher and history teacher isn’t talking about this and he ranted that “higher education is indoctrinating American students to become left-wing radicals.” That’s wrong because, according to Dobbs, they should should be indoctrinating those kids to worship Trump the Protector.

But worst of all, Dobbs has revealed the clandestine plot by the leader of the “Deep State” conspiracy, special counsel Robert Mueller, to actually assassinate the President. Why isn’t anyone else talking about this? Isn’t it obvious that Mueller is maneuvering himself and his “Band of Angry Democrats” (as Trump calls them) into position to shoot his lethal legal filings and deadly facts straight at Trump’s bulbous, yet empty head?

Lou Dobbs really does deserve credit for beating out some pretty darn tough competitors for this honor. The “Most Deranged Lunatic” on Fox News was never going to be an easy award to capture. But Dobbs rose to the occasion and he’s entitled to all the of the attention and ridicule that comes with it.

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

Fox News Hacks Say Media Coverage Honoring Bush is a ‘Weapon Against Trump’

Whenever a public figure like a president dies the media brings out their pre-written obituaries and biographies. It becomes a multi-day marathon of tributes and remembrances that focus on the most positive aspects of the dearly departed. And these past past few days since the passing of President George H.W. Bush has been no exception.

Donald Trump

What is exceptional, however, is the capacity for Fox News, and their stable of right-wing shills, to turn the whole thing into a political circus. And they valiantly manage to do it in the most brazenly asinine way possible. The coverage on Fox has taken a well-coordinated turn to spin any positive messaging about Bush as a calculated attack on Donald Trump. No, really. Here is the host of Fox’s MediaBuzz, Howard Kurtz, on how the press is weaponizing tributes to Bush (video below):

“There has been just a remarkable media outpouring of gratitude and affection and celebration since the passing of President George Herbert Walker Bush. But what’s really striking now are the tributes, because there’s just a lot of national affection for a guy who was such a gentleman, and sort of engaged in civility, and could debate his opponents without demonizing them, and often worked with Democrats.”

Kurtz went on to highlight what he perceives as “the contrast between all of the hoopla now” and the way Bush was covered at the time. Then he itemized some of Bush’s most notable missteps and failures, including the blatantly racist, “Willie Horton” ad (produced by a protege of Roger Ailes, who later founded Fox News), and his infamous broken promise of “no new taxes.” All of this was leading up to his premise that the complimentary coverage Bush in death is a deliberate attack on Donald Trump:

“Many of the journalists and pundits who don’t like this president have decided to use the passing of a previous president as a way to bash Trump. […] Very much in contrast to the way he was covered in the 1980’s and 1990’s. And very much used as a kind of a weapon against President Trump.”

Kurtz isn’t the only Fox News Trump-fluffer to make this connection between flattering Bush and insulting Trump. Sean Hannity did a whole segment on his Monday night program wherein he ranted that “They’ll try and bludgeon you when your alive, and now that you’re no longer a political threat oh, you were the greatest person that ever lived.” And Laura Ingraham weighed in on the same subject saying “Sadly though, with the death of George H.W. Bush, some in the media, and politicians from both parties, are abusing this moment to trash instead the sitting president.”

The main problem with these analyses is that they actually point to a big problem that is inherent to Trump’s malignant personality disorders. By praising anyone else for their civility, genteelness, character, unselfishness, and respect for others, you are by definition criticizing Trump’s lack of any of these traits. Just by saying that Bush often demonstrated kindness or concern, you’re making an inescapable comparison to the narcissistic blowhard currently occupying the Oval Office.

Furthermore, these Trump supplicants on Fox News seem to think that there’s something wrong if coverage of a deceased president is different, more complimentary, than the coverage they received when they were still on their government jobs. That’s absurd to the point of nonsense. Political leaders are subject to being critiqued while serving. They face good and bad press in response to their performance and behavior. They are not supposed to be lionized while in office as saintly figures upon whom only praise is lavished. And while that may be the way that Fox News always treats Trump, that doesn’t make it right, or ethical, or sane.

Bush had some successes as president. He signed the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Clean Air Act. But he had his share of failures too. And if the press lays off for a few days after his passing, that’s to be expected. But complimenting him on matters of character that Trump is so sorely lacking isn’t an example of the press bashing Trump. It’s Trump’s fault for being such an unambiguous asshole that any discussion about someone who isn’t reflects badly on him. If he doesn’t like it he could try to stop being such a self-absorbed jackass. But it’s probably too late for that.

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

The Blue Wave Swept MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Into First Place for November 2018

The 2018 midterm elections truly lived up to the pre-election hype. All the talk of a “Blue Wave” panned out as Democrats took the majority in the House of Representatives with more gains (40 seats) than any election since Watergate. In addition, they flipped seven governorships, seven statehouse majorities, and almost 400 state legislative seats. It was an unambiguous blowout for the Trump Resistance.

Rachel Maddow

But there was a victory that was not related to the the electoral one. The campaign for the eyes and ears of America’s television news viewers also tilted broadly to the left. The perennial leader, Fox News, suffered a decline in November versus their numbers for November 2017. So did CNN. But MSNBC had a notable gain. And that increase was driven by the popularity of their primetime anchor, Rachel Maddow.

Following the election on November sixth, the ratings for Maddow went steadily up. She was the top performing program on cable news for the rest of the month. Her competition, Sean Hannity, was unable to keep up. Maddow pulled in total 2.9 million viewers on average per night, compared to Hannity’s 2.8 million. And in the advertiser demographic of 25-54 she did 527,000, far exceeding Hannity’s 497,000.

Throughout much of this time period the election was still in progress as many districts continued to count votes in close races. That might have held the interest of viewers for Maddow, but you have to wonder why it didn’t do the same for Hannity’s audience. The difference may be that the election wasn’t the only story being told.

Donald Trump was doing his part by inflaming new scandals every other day. They included his callous response to the California fires; his ever-present battle with the media; the ongoing inaction to the murder of a journalist, and U.S. resident, Jamal Khashoggi; his embarrassing neglect of respect for fallen troops during his junket to France; and so many more it’s hard to keep track.

Maddow was studiously reporting on all of these issues and more. While Fox News was desperately trying to figure out ways to avoid these subjects altogether. Consequently they wound up recycling their typically ludicrous “War on Christmas” fare or regurgitated segments about Hillary Clinton’s emails. No wonder even Fox’s viewers turned away.

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

Whatever the reasons, Maddow showed that she is still a force to reckoned with. And as the new year brings a myriad of stories about congressional investigations into Trump and his crime family, along with the expected release of a report by special counsel Robert Mueller, the future looks bright for Maddow and MSNBC. Meanwhile, Fox viewers can look forward to more of this:

State TV (aka Fox News) Literally Scripts and Rehearses Interviews with Trump Associates

Okay, okay. Everybody already knows that Fox News is a fake network that was created only to promote conservative politicians and policies. And more recently it has become the wholly owned subsidiary of Donald Trump’s White House. There is a revolving door between the network and the presidency, with personnel being shared by both and with a common purpose to advance the interests and propaganda of Trump. We know.

Donald Trump Fox News

Nevertheless, new revelations that shock and disgust continue to come forward. The latest is a scoop by the Daily Beast who acquired some damning emails between Trump’s disgraced former Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scott Pruitt, and producers for Trump’s favorite Fox News program, Fox and Friends. The Daily Beast reveals that:

“In past interviews with President Trump’s favorite cable-news show, the then-EPA chief’s team chose the topics for interviews, and knew the questions in advance.

“In one instance, according to emails revealed in a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by the Sierra Club and reviewed by The Daily Beast, Pruitt’s team even approved part of the show’s script. […]

“In multiple interviews on Fox & Friends, Pruitt was essentially allowed to dictate the terms for the interview and avoid any difficult questions.”

The Daily Beast posts copies of the emails that explicitly reveal how Fox News bent over backwards for Trump’s surrogates. Even to the point of asking them to approve the setups used to introduce them. This, of course, is in addition to the regular Trump-fluffing that occurs on Fox News throughout the day. The network is, after all, tightly integrated with Trump’s White House. Trump’s former Director of Communications, Hope Hicks, is the current Fox News executive vice-president and chief communications officer. And Trump’s current Deputy Chief of Staff is the former president of Fox News and Hannity producer, Bill Shine, who was fired for covering up sexual misconduct by Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly. And it was recently discovered that Shine is still on the Fox payroll, so he’s being paid by both the White House (i.e. taxpayers) and Fox News simultaneously.

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

The Daily Beast contacted Fox about the Pruitt matter and they issued a vague statement saying that “This is not standard practice whatsoever and the matter is being addressed internally with those involved.” So you can rest assured that the proper disciplinary measures will be taken. After all, when Sean Hannity and other Fox News personalities were caught campaigning for Trump and other Republicans, they were slapped on the wrist and told to stop. And then Hannity and Jeanine Pirro showed up at a recent Trump cult rally anyway. This is business as usual for Fox News and it isn’t going to change.

Two-Faced Fox News: Both Supporting and Attacking CNN’s Lawsuit Against Trump

The split personality of Fox News is on display with regard to the controversy over their treatment of CNN’s White House correspondent Jim Acosta. The Trump administration revoked Acosta’s press pass last week after a contentious exchange with Donald Trump at a press conference. Trump’s behavior at the event was over the top, even for him. He viciously lashed out and insulted Acosta and several other reporters, including three African-American women.

Fox News, Donald Trump

However, what’s making the headlines now is the administration’s revocation of access to the White House for Acosta and the subsequent lawsuit filed by CNN to restore his First Amendment rights. The suit has been hailed by most of the journalistic community including the White House Correspondents Association and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. And even Fox News issued a statement in support of CNN’s lawsuit:

“FOX News supports CNN in its legal effort to regain its White House reporter’s press credential. We intend to file an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court. Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized. While we don’t condone the growing antagonistic tone by both the President and the press at recent media avails, we do support a free press, access and open exchanges for the American people.”

Fox couldn’t resist highlighting what they called an “antagonistic tone.” but at least they included Trump in the criticism. The rest of the statement is a solid defense of the First Amendment. The problem is that this sentiment expressed by their management is not shared by their program hosts.

For instance, on her Tuesday night program Laura Ingraham is not so supportive. She called the lawsuit a “stunt” and a “farce.” Fox’s media correspondent, Howard Kurtz, wrote an op-ed Tuesday criticizing CNN, saying that “By taking the president to court, CNN also reinforces its image among millions of Trump supporters as part of the opposition.” And Wednesday on the air Kurtz said that “I think this suit is more of a PR effort than a legal one.” Martha MacCallum hosted former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer who dismissed freedom of the press saying that “It’s not a right to be able to go over to the White House.” And Fox’s senior Trump-fluffer, Sean Hannity, complained bitterly for ten minutes about the lawsuit. He disparaged Acosta as “a far-left, grandstanding sycophant left-winger.” Trump was apparently watching, because he later used the “grandstanding” slur in an interview with Tucker Carlson’s rag, The Daily Caller. At no time did Hannity or the others stand up for the principles of freedom of the press.

This is representative of the two faces of Fox News. They like to pretend that they are a part of the journalistic community and committed to the constitutional provisions that protect the media. But their most watched personalities prefer the suppressive concepts favored by dictators who get to choose who cover them and what is permissible to say. And that’s also the position of the Trump White House that defended the President’s censorious punishment of Acosta in a statement that said:

“The President and White House possess the same broad discretion to regulate access to the White House for journalists (and other members of the public) that they possess to select which journalists receive interviews.”

Actually, that isn’t the same thing at all. While Trump has been extremely selective with regard to interviews (the vast majority of which have been with Fox News), a press conference is an open event during which all attendees have equal access. And by selectively banning a reporter who asks tough questions, Trump is manipulating the coverage of his media avails to only those with whom he agrees, or believes he can overcome with bullying, filibustering, and lies. That is not how the Founding Fathers envisioned a free press. And Fox doesn’t get to be a “news” enterprise by issuing a statement in support of the First Amendment, while they put hacks on the air who advocate against it.

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

Fox News Accuses Rachel Maddow of Pro-Mueller Bias, Ignored Hannity Campaigning with Trump

The hypocrites at Fox News are out in force following the midterm elections that returned Democrats to the majority in the House of Representatives. Which isn’t really any different than the way the Fox News hypocrites were behaving before the midterms. But it’s clear that they intend to continue distorting reality for their glassy-eyed and willfully ignorant viewers.

Rachel Maddow, Fox News

In an article on the Fox News website Thursday, their media correspondent, Brian Flood, sought to criticize MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow for exhibiting a bias in favor of special counsel Robert Mueller. The piece was not addressing anything she did on her program, but rather a tweet she posted that reported the grassroots reaction to Donald Trump firing his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. That dismissal, and the appointment of Trump flunky Matt Whitaker as Acting Attorney General, was the latest attempt by Trump to obstruct justice by undermining the Mueller probe. Maddow’s tweet simply reported that there were protests planned to advocate for members of Congress to protect Mueller from any interference by the Trump regime:

That tweet was the basis for the article by Flood who characterized it as pro-Mueller and implied that there was something untoward about Maddow posting such a comment. He wrote that:

“Maddow is a leftist activist but was recently paired with Brian Williams during MSNBC’s Election Night coverage. News organizations typically use nonpartisan anchors for such assignments.”

Setting aside the false assertion that Maddow is a leftist activist (to which Maddow had a light-hearted reply), Flood is actually admitting that Fox is not a “news organization” because their election night programming used flagrantly partisan anchors – Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham – in their coverage. They were planning to use Sean Hannity as well, according to their pre-broadcast press release, but Hannity was an unexplained no-show. You have to wonder if that had anything to do with Hannity’s campaign stumping for Trump on stage with the President at his last cult rally of the election season.

What’s interesting is that Flood found it necessary to publish a misleading article about Maddow’s alleged bias, but he never published anything about Hannity nuzzling up to Trump on stage, or the anchor chairs occupied by Carlson and Ingraham. It’s a good thing Fox News abandoned their “fair and balanced” slogan last year. Because their own media correspondent can’t live up to it.

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