Trump Summons Fox News White House Correspondent to Oval Woodshed for a Spanking

There is little in the current news cycle that is less important than Donald Trump’s absurd and pointless lies about Alabama being in the path of Hurricane Dorian. For the record, Alabama was ruled out as being at risk two days before Trump issued his warning to residents of that state. But despite the facts that were confirmed by the National Weather Service’s Hurricane Center, Trump has elevated this nonsense to ridiculously atmospheric heights.

Donald Trump

There is a case to be made that Trump’s lying is significant because it might have unnecessarily rattled Alabamians or even shifted resources to areas where they weren’t needed. But more troubling is that it puts Trump’s severe mental instability on display. He could have just said that a mistake was made and this story would have slipped quietly away. Instead he turned his egotistical aversion to ever being challenged up to twelve – that’s twelve pile-on tweets insisting that he was correct, contrary to reality.

The latest of these demented tweets came on Friday morning when he accused the media of being fixated on the story he has been obsessively ranting about. “They went Crazy,” he tweeted, “hoping against hope that I made a mistake (which I didn’t).” Well, yes he did, and all the evidence affirms it. He went on to whine about not getting an apology that he doesn’t deserve, including for “the Witch Hunt, or SpyGate!” Nevermind that the Mueller probe (aka “witch hunt” in Trump’s cartoon brain) produced abundant evidence of Trump’s illegal activities, and “SpyGate” was a figment of his imagination.

However, the most deplorable action on Trump’s part during this vacuous waste of time occurred on Thursday when, as reported by CNN, Trump ordered the Fox News White House correspondent, John Roberts, to appear before him in his chambers. Trump was very unhappy with the reporting by Roberts and Fox News anchor Shepard Smith. This was not the first time that Trump has lashed out at Fox for not being being sufficiently adoring. Just last week he even ordered his cult followers to “start looking for new news outlet.” But this may be the first time that he has reprimanded a Fox reporter in the oval Office.

In an email by Roberts that was provided to CNN, he said that Trump “insisted that it is unfair to say Alabama was never threatened by the storm.” Roberts wrote that Trump was “looking for acknowledgment that he was not wrong” when he falsely claimed on Sunday that Alabama was in the path of Hurricane Dorian. By that time it was already known that Dorian had turned sharply to the north and east. But that didn’t stop Trump from lobbying Roberts with outdated information and charts. Even in those old projections there was only a 5-10 percent chance of a slight brushing of a sliver of Alabama, while Trump had said that there was 95 percent probability of landfall in Alabama.

CNN also reported that Trump “voiced his displeasure about Fox News anchor Shepard Smith’s skeptical reporting about the Alabama map,” and asked Roberts “to hit back at Shepard Smith.” This would be regarded as wholly inappropriate for any president to say to any journalist, but this is Trump and Fox News, so all pretensions to credibility are irrelevant. What Trump was fuming about was Smith’s commentary (video below) on the Alabama non-controversy wherein he said that…

Some things in Trumplandia are inexplicable. This week’s edition, the President’s ongoing claim that Alabama was at risk from hurricane Dorian. It wasn’t. Maybe he got some bad info, somebody maybe he made a mistake. Maybe he was confused. We don’t know. But he was wrong. Everybody makes mistakes. Instead the next day, the president blamed the media for his own inaccurate warning and started to rewrite history on the matter. […]

Why would the president of the United States do this? He decries fake news that isn’t and disseminates fake news that is. Think China pays the tariffs. The wall is going up. Historic inauguration crowd. Russia probe is a witch hunt. You need an ID to buy cereal. Noise from windmills causes cancer. It’s endless.

Indeed, it does seem to be endless as Trump prolongs this spectacle into the weekend. And along with trying to bully his friends at Fox News, Trump ordered his Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor, Rear Admiral Peter J. Brown, to issue a flagrantly false work of propaganda that backed up Trump’s ever-expanding web of lies. And not surprisingly, Trump’s BFF, Sean Hannity, took to the air to criticize the “psychotic jackasses in the media mob” who he said were misreporting that Trump lied, even though they merely reported the actual events as they occurred.

The only reason this preposterous story persists is that Trump can’t keep his narcissistic mouth shut for thirty seconds. His deranged insistence that he be perceived as right in all matters at all times forces him to defend even the most trivial blather that oozes from his pie hole on an all too frequent basis. And this time he even tried to browbeat a friendly Foxie into complicity with his dishonest drivel. The fact that it didn’t work may be a sign of trouble ahead for Trump. We can only hope.

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

Serious Question: Is Donald Trump the Nastiest Phuckwit to Ever Stain the Presidency?

On Wednesday Donald Trump defied all of of his critics – and coherent rationality – to visit the grief stricken cities of El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. These communities have already suffered unbearable tragedy and loss of life. The prospect of hosting a president who is best known for the obsessive self-interest of a malignant narcissist seems like an unfair additional burden. Particularly since it’s his own reckless ravings that contributed to the slaughter.

Donald Trump Red Face

Unfortunately, Trump lived up to his loathsome billing. On a day when all he had to do was plaster a concerned look on his mango-tinted mug, shake a few hands, and wish people well, Trump failed utterly to fulfill his temporary duty as Consoler-in-Chief. He turned every stop on his self-serving photo-op tour into either a wholly inappropriate political harangue or an exaltation of himself and his perception of the universal love that he thinks he deserves.

Trump apparently already forget his own words from a White House address to the nation two days prior when he said that “Now is the time to set destructive partisanship aside and find the courage to answer hatred with unity, devotion, and love.” And in the spirit of turning that sentiment into the disingenuous bunk that he surely believed it to be, Trump lashed out in barrage of bombastic and belligerent tweets that reeked of callous insensitivity and conceit. He began with a typically immature swipe at Joe Biden:


As an affirmation of his increasing senility, Trump’s nicknames for his opponents get more childish and unconnected to reality as he ages. Here he was reacting to what may be Biden’s most passionately delivered speech since he announced his candidacy. It was an accurately critical review of Trump’s fatally flawed character, but all Trump saw was an enemy being mean to him, so he went haywire. Shortly following that he began sputtering about some slight he imagined by elected officials in the cities he supposedly came to comfort:


Notice that his recollection of the visit was entirely limited to how beloved he thinks he is. From there he found it necessary to whine about not being sufficiently flattered. Of course, this was another affair that he warped into an unrecognizable mush in his mind. Neither Sherrod Brown nor Mayor Whaley ever said anything remotely similar to what Trump alleged. Now his paranoia has him inventing criticisms that never happened. Not to worry though. Trump still had plenty of wrath to dispense. And this time it was aimed at Fox News anchor Shepard Smith.


The line that Smith crossed was to forcefully condemn white supremacy and the culture of hate. That irked Trump because he is still trying to pretend that none of that exists, even while he is it’s national spokesman. This led to yet another assault on a local Texas Democrat, Joaquin Castro.


This is one of those times that Trump pounces on someone without ever telling anyone why. It’s just a blind scattershot of bile. In this case Trump was upset that Castro had posted a graphic on Twitter that identified some Trump’s donors. It’s telling that being pegged as a Trump supporter is so distressing to those supporters, and to Trump, that it requires this sort of counterpunch. They’re acting like they were outed for supporting Hitler (and that’s not too far off). As the day wore down, Trump found it necessary to again remind everyone how much he is adored:


To top off his day of vitriol and egomaniacal vanity, Trump posted a tweet that could only be regarded as his determination to kill the bipartisanship he recently pretended to advocate, along with an overt threat:


Calling the Democrats “disgusting” isn’t going to help him get support for his legislative agenda. But it isn’t any worse than when he retweeted a meme a few days ago that said that “Democrats are the true enemies of America.” What was that he said about bipartisanship a couple of days ago?

When Thursday morning rolled around it found Trump still in an ornery mood. But it also revealed a measure of distress and fear so intense that he actually admitted to watching MSNBC and CNN. Of course it was in the process of whining impotently about their coverage, but not citing a single thing that was wrong. It was just an eruption of pure mentally unbalanced malice toward the free press.

In addition to the above examples of Trump’s nauseating lack of character, diplomacy, and decency, he posted a trio of cheesy propaganda/campaign videos compiled from his visits with grieving families and victims. This is not only a corrupt misuse of taxpayer funds for political purposes, it is an abuse of the trust and decency that the suffering people of El Paso and Dayton deserve. They should not be exploited as extras in Trump’s self-promotional PR videos where he is seen smiling inappropriately throughout as they grieve.

It is quintessentially Trumpian to not be able to control his worst impulses for one damn day in order to allow some healing to occur. Rather, he made his own vileness the story of the day again. But why should any of that bother Trump, who is focused so intently on retaining his crown as the nastiest phuckwit to ever stain the U.S. presidency. But he needn’t worry. If it makes him feel any better, he’s got that prize locked up.

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

SO WHAT? Fox News Trump-Fluffer Read the Mueller Report and (Surprise) Found Nothing

The desperation of Donald Trump seems to be escalating with each new day and frantic tweet. This may be exacerbated by the upcoming congressional hearings featuring testimony by special counsel Robert Mueller. That has clearly been dominating what precious little comprehension capability Trump has. It has overtaken his obsession with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and “The Squad,” which he has only been exploiting as a method of distraction anyway.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Strange

On Monday Trump demonstrated just how frightened he is of the Mueller hearings. He tweeted a quote from Fox Business anchor Trish Regan that, for some bizarre reason, he thinks should settle the debate on whether Mueller found any evidence of collusion and/or obstruction of justice:

This may be one of the most supremely useless tweets Trump has ever posted. It is substantively vacant, providing no information whatsoever to support its premise. And it’s exactly the sort of biased propaganda that makes Fox News such a disreputable source for anything other than Trump happy talk.

In the segment, Regan summed up her perspective on the entire Mueller investigations saying that it was a “lousy thing to do to the American people and the President of the United States.” And her guests were equally as servile to Trump’s ego. Jenna Ellis Rives, a Trump 2020 campaign advisory board member, said that the 95 Democrats who voted to impeach Trump should all be impeached themselves. For casting votes? Pete Hegseth, of Fox and Friends, said that Democrats are hoping that Mueller will “slip up” during his congressional testimony. How? By letting the truth about Trump’s crimes slip out?

It requires a massive amount of self-delusion to conclude that there is nothing in Mueller’s report that incriminates Trump. There’s plenty. Including evidence of conspiracies by Trump and his associates with unsavory Russian characters. And Mueller enumerated at least ten instances of obstruction of justice. But most damning for Regan – and by extension, Trump – is that even some at Fox News have seen the light. You have to wonder why Trump didn’t post quote-tweets about these comments:

Bret Baier, the Chief Political Anchor on Fox News, offered his analysis after Mueller’s public statement. Baier blasted Barr’s misrepresentation of the Mueller report saying that it was more nuanced than Barr’s portrayal and “In fact, it was almost exactly the opposite.” He elaborated saying:

“I was struck by the tone and tenor of those remarks as he laid out his case wrapping up this report. This was not, as the president says time and time again, ‘no collusion, no obstruction.’ It was much more nuanced than that. […] He said specifically that if they had found that the President did not commit a crime on obstruction, they would have said that.”

Fox News Senior Legal Analyst, Andrew Napolitano, has made a number of observations that provide legal confirmation of Trump’s guilt. For instance:

“Mueller laid out at least a half-dozen crimes of obstruction committed by Trump […] The president’s job is to enforce federal law. If he had ordered its violation to save innocent life or preserve human freedom, he would have a moral defense. But ordering obstruction to save himself from the consequences of his own behavior is unlawful, defenseless and condemnable.”

And then there was this:

“While there was some evidence of collaboration between Russian agents and the Trump campaign – like 127 telephone communications between them – there was not enough evidence to establish the crime of conspiracy.” […]

“If the subject of a criminal investigation tells the people that work for him to lie to the FBI and falsify evidence so that the FBI will not find out whatever the subject does not want them to know – as Mueller said Trump did between ten and eleven times – that is obstruction of justice and it is for a corrupt purpose.”

The Chief News Anchor and Managing Editor of the Fox News breaking news division, Shepard Smith, also weighed in with remarks that undermined Trump’s attacks on the Mueller probe. Specifically, Smith pointed out that the dossier by Christopher Steele was not the tainted documented that Sean Hannity and others have tried to paint it as:

“While the U.S. intelligence community has not confirmed parts of the dossier, there are elements of it that are confirmed true. No part of it, to Fox News’ knowledge, has been confirmed false.”

Given those comments by the most senior people at Fox News, Regan’s mushy remarks seem even more absurd and obsequious. And Trump’s promotion of them is simply more proof of the narcissistic fetish that defines his warped personality. It’s a certainty that we will be seeing more of this from Fox StormTrumpers like Sean Hannity as Trump’s fortunes continue to decline. In fact, be prepared for it to get even worse as Trump’s mental state deteriorates.

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

Trump Goes Off (His Meds) on a Crazed Anti-Media Tweet Tantrum Against – Fox News?

It must be extraordinarily difficult for the President of the United States to get through every weekend without being fawned over by his most devoted supporters and promoters: the weekday primetime hosts on Fox News (aka State TV). Donald Trump’s notoriously fragile ego needs constant stroking or it erupts in an explosion of nonsensical ravings and unbound hostility from his Twitter stronghold.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Strange

That’s the sensitive psychological condition that Trump found himself in on Sunday night when he unleashed a torrent of tweets bursting with self pity and anger at an unfair world that wasn’t sufficiently adoring. This hissy twit included an unexpected barrage of animus aimed squarely at Trump’s media confederates at Fox News. It’s not the first time, but it’s one of the most extended and shrill. And it’s a warning to Fox that if you dare to stray from Trumpian orthodoxy, you are officially guilty of betraying the cause of white-wing nationalism, and Trump personally. It’s Trump’s admission that he regards Fox News as his personal publicity shop. The substance of this tweetstorm is so profoundly disturbing that we can just let it speak for itself.

Poor Trump is suffering the brutal symptoms of withdrawal due to the lack of his weekday Trump-fluffers: Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. Apparently Jeanine Pirro and Mark Levin aren’t sufficient to get him through these lonely weekends. But does he have to be so cruel as to call the Fox weekenders worse than CNN? That’s a low blow coming from Trump.

Deprived of his State TV babysitters, Trump whines about the brass at Comcast. He’s referring to Chairman and CEO of Comcast Brian Roberts and NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke. And he apparently believes that they tell everyone on NBC what to say. That must be because that’s the way the propaganda machine at Fox News operates, so he thinks real news organizations do the same.

He also unloads on what he says was a boring Democratic primary debate. Never mind that it was the most watched Democratic debate in history and drew more viewers on the second night than the first, which is not generally an indicator that the viewers were bored. Then Trump takes an odd, leftfield swipe at the New York Times because, well, what anti-media Trump rant would be complete without it?

Next, Trump takes aim directly at Fox News again, this time accusing them of having “forgot the people who got them there!” As if the network is obligated to behave in the manner that Trump demands or it’s being disloyal. That sentiment is extended with Trump’s complaint that Fox hired Donna Brazile, a former Democratic Party official. He lies about her having given Hillary Clinton debate questions during the 2016 Democratic primary. In fact, Brazile never had any actual debate questions. She only gave Clinton a list of topics and questions that she assumed would be covered. That’s still improper for a CNN contributor who was supposed to be unaffiliated, but it isn’t the same as stealing actual questions and handing them over to a candidate. Ironically, that’s an accusation that was levelled at Fox News for tipping off Trump before a GOP debate.

Finally, Trump insults all of the dayside Fox anchors as “terrible” and takes a swing at Fox’s chief news anchor and managing editor of breaking news, Shepard Smith. Considering how often Smith debunks Trump’s lies, that isn’t surprising. Take, for instance, this brutal fact check on Trump’s lies about Russian collusion. But then he closes this manic episode by proclaiming that he knows what the Fox News audience wants and that Fox is failing in its duty to be a staunchly partisan right-wing mouthpiece by not bending obediently to the bias that Trump thinks is required of them.

It’s difficult to be certain exactly what triggered this meltdown, but it doesn’t take much to set Trump off these days. He is becoming more frightened and unstable with each new poll that shows him losing in 2020, and each new revelation of his rampant criminal activity, including the arrest of his pal Jeffrey Epstein for sex trafficking.

However, there was an entertaining bit of “news” made on Fox Sunday when reporter Greg Palkot was covering reaction to the U.S. winning the World Cup. He was live from a sports bar in Lyon, France when the crowd began chanting “F*** Trump.” Then Palkot interviewed an American patron who cheered the U.S. team’s victory and then proudly exclaimed “Now we need to win in 2020, Democrats. Get that racist out of the White House.” That’s surely something that would gnaw at Trump if he saw it. But it warms the hearts of every truly patriotic American who can’t wait for Trump to booted from office whether by losing an election or well deserved impeachment.

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

Fox News Host Shines a Light on The Dishonest Trump-Fluffing of AG Barr and the Fox ‘Opinion People’

The highly anticipated Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing with Attorney General William Barr provided all the sparks and melodrama that was advertised. While the Republican members of the committee wasted their time flattering Barr and calling for ridiculously unwarranted investigations of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, the Democrats effectively revealed just how devoutly wedded to Donald Trump the Attorney General is.

Fox News, Chris Wallace

Barr was unashamedly protecting Trump from any potentially negative perceptions he might have earned due to his flagrantly unlawful activity and obstruction of justice. Barr refused to concede some obvious failures on his part to be an objective servant of the American people, rather than a personal criminal lawyer for Trump.

Even so, Barr couldn’t remember whether or not Trump ever asked him to open an investigation into Trump’s political opponents or critics. He admitted that he didn’t review the evidence in the Mueller report before deciding that Trump was innocent. He denied that directing someone to change their testimony (as Trump did to White House Counsel Don McGahn) was witness tampering and obstruction of justice. He defended his use of the loaded, Trumpian term of “spying” during his previous congressional testimony. He couldn’t even say whether the President’s actions were consistent with his oath of office. So Barr is not just another Trump lawyer, he’s as bad at it as the rest of Trump’s legal team.

Many of these revelations were discussed immediately after the hearing by Fox News anchors Shepard Smith and Chris Wallace. Smith delivered a remarkably straightforward recap of the proceedings with all of the brutal – for Trump – truths included. He then turned to Wallace, whose assessment was equally candid, but also included some peremptory criticisms of his Fox News colleagues. He began by addressing the letter from Mueller to Barr after Barr’s bastardization of the special counsel’s report (video below):

“I know there are some people who don’t think this March 27 letter is a big deal, and some opinion people who appear on this network who might be pushing a political agenda. But we have to deal in facts. And the fact is that this letter from the special counsel … was a clear indication that [Mueller] was upset, very upset, with the letter that had been sent out by the Attorney General.”

Wallace noted that Mueller’s letter was intended to express his view that Barr was misleading and confusing the public. It would have been extraordinarily uncommon if Mueller had simply expressed those views in a personal phone call to Barr. But his decision to go further by documenting them in writing demonstrates how seriously he felt that Barr had crossed ethical lines. Mueller’s letter clearly stated that he wanted Barr to correct the record publicly.”

“He felt the Attorney General’s letter was inaccurate. He says in the conversation he was talking about media coverage. But that’s not what it says in the letter. He says in the letter that you didn’t reflect what we found in the report … Those aren’t opinions. That’s not political agenda. Those are the facts.”

Wallace is making it abundantly clear that he is concerned about how Fox’s “opinion people” are likely to distort reality when they get their turn in primetime. He’s being deliberate in his remarks to emphasize that what he’s presenting are the facts, as opposed to what shills like Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham are expected to say later on.

It’s amazing that a so-called “news” network can operate this way. They have people they identify as journalists openly maligning their network confederates as disreputable purveyors of rumors, distortions, and lies. There would seem to be no point to watch a program hosted by State TV mouthpieces who spew fantasy fiction that the network’s straight news reporters refute.

Yet that’s the business model of Fox News. And millions of dimwitted Deplorables tune in every night to be lied to by shameless Trump PR flacks posing as journalists. It’s the behavior of cult members who obediently believe only what the cult leaders permit them to believe. However, with the reporting by Smith and Wallace, some of these poor souls might come into contact with some actual truth. That could result in their being released from the spell of the Fox News charlatans. Or it might cause them to suffer an aneurysm that turns half of the brain into mush. Well, the half that wasn’t already mush.

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

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

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

Notre Dame

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

Shepard Smith Slaps the ‘Defenders’ of Flynn on Fox News, While Trump is Witness Tampering

Tuesday morning saw a particularly voluminous tweetstorm from Donald Trump for a weekday. And naturally, it was mainly lying about about how innocent he is. But it was also a morning for finding out what penalty former Trump advisor, and confessed felon, Michael Flynn, would pay for his crimes. For some time now the Trump-fluffers on Fox News were belittling the charges and maligning law enforcement for what they alleged was persecution and entrapment. But on Tuesday Flynn’s sentencing was postponed after the judge told him that he might face prison time for “selling out his country.”

Fox News, Shepard Smith, Donald Trump

The amen chorus on Fox News has been relentlessly attacking special counsel Robert Mueller and the prosecutors in New York as corrupt, conflicted, and biased against the President. They had nothing to prove any of these claims, but when has that ever mattered to Fox News? Everyone from Sean Hannity to Laura Ingraham to the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends have belted out in unison that Flynn was a victim of overzealous prosecution and was entrapped by unscrupulous defilers of the law. Flynn hinted at the same complaints briefly, which may be what angered the judge, who regarded that as a potential withdrawal of his guilty plea.

However, in court on Tuesday Flynn backtracked and fully accepted responsibility for his criminal activities. That unambiguous affirmation of his guilt contradicts everything that Fox News has been saying for weeks. And at least one person at Fox noticed:

Shepard Smith: “You heard the theory floated by the White House and its defenders here and elsewhere. That all blew up today.

“Michael Flynn himself said that he is not challenging the circumstances of the interview. That he knew lying to the feds was a crime when he lied to the feds. That he was not entrapped. That he was guilty.”

That’s a pretty sharp criticism of the Trump shills on Fox News. Smith explicitly calls out the “White House and its defenders here (i.e. on Fox) and elsewhere.” You have to wonder how Hannity is gonna take that. Never mind the rest of the story that proves Hannity’s sycophancy has been for naught. Flynn himself effectively threw Hannity et al under the Trump Train. Can they continue to advance the “Deep State” conspiracy theory that Flynn was “ambushed” (as Sarah Huckabee Sanders said today) if even Flynn doesn’t believe it?

Meanwhile, Trump took another stab at witness tampering. He tweeted his best wishes to Flynn, a confessed felon, because what president doesn’t have friends who are admonished in court as being disloyal to their country? But Trump’s tweet had another purpose as well:

Trump saying that it “Will be interesting to see what he has to say,” is his way of sending a message to Flynn. Just clam up and shield Trump from any possible legal accountability and there might be something in it for you. Like maybe a pardon? This message could hardly be more clear without attaching a “Get Out of Prison Free” coupon to it. The President is dangling favors in front of Flynn that Michael Cohen (the RAT, according to Trump) isn’t getting. It’s just another example of his self-incriminating behavior. Trump knows that Mueller can see these tweets, doesn’t he?

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

The combination of Trump throwing out a life preserver to Flynn, while Flynn is admitting all of the dastardly charges against him is cringeworthy. But it provides a small measure of comfort to see Shep lay some truth on these cretins. Not that it will do any lasting good. Hannity and his ilk blithely ignore any facts that get in the way of their propaganda.