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.

Trump’s Asinine Threat to Send 5,000 Troops to the Border is Savagely Ridiculed on Fox News

The news of a so-called “caravan” of Central American migrants marching north toward the United States is tailor made for a Fox News freakout. Which is why Fox News has been freaking out about it for the past couple of weeks. They actually created the story for the express purpose of advancing the prospects of Trump’s Republican Nationalist Party in the upcoming midterm election.

Donald Trump, Immigrant, Child

Donald Trump himself has latched onto the issue in the most nauseating fashion as he falsely maligns these refugees as criminals and gang members. His latest tweet on the subject was a festival of lies and xenophobic hate:

Of course, Trump has zero evidence to support his vicious claims. And he’s ignoring the fact that these peaceful travelers do intend to enter the U.S. legally. Presenting yourself to immigration officials at the border is precisely the legal process for people applying for refugee status. But Trump is determined to slander folks who are already frightened and desperate. What’s more, he has adopted of the language of the murderer who just killed eleven worshipers at a Pittsburgh synagogue. That’s a real criminal who cited the caravan in hostile messages just before his rampage, and referred to the migrants as “invaders.”

Trump’s request that the migrants “go back” is a peculiar outburst at people he seems to believe are on the road with smart phones reading his tweets. Does he think that they will just turn around and return to homes they reluctantly abandoned because their lives were at risk? But what’s worse is his threat regarding the waiting military. Trump is literally threatening to slaughter these refugees for seeking safety in the land of the free.

Meanwhile at Fox News, the one anchor that occasionally exhibits some measure of sanity, Shepard Smith, took note of Trump’s latest mental breakdown (video below). And Smith was brutal in his assessment of the absurdity in Trump’s plans. Smith said that:

“The U.S. will deploy some 5,000 troops to the U.S. border as early as tomorrow as thousands of migrants make their way north from Mexico. Tomorrow. The migrants, according to Fox News reporting, are more than two months away, if any of them actually come here. But tomorrow is one week before the midterm election, which is what all of this is about. There is no invasion. No one is coming to get you. There’s nothing at all to worry about.”

So Smith not only pointed out the fallacy in Trump’s deranged policy, but he also identified the real reason that this issue is being discussed. The refugees are a thousand miles from the U.S. and are traveling by foot. They don’t represent any sort of threat whatsoever, and least of all, an imminent one that requires immediate deployment of troops. The only imminent threat is to the Republican Nationalist Party’s grip on political power. And that’s the only reason why Trump is demagoguing this issue and turning refugees into criminal hordes of subhuman invaders. And it’s just the sort of preposterous hate mongering that Trump’s Deplorable cult followers will suck up with relish.

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

Nice work Shep:

Shepard Smith of Fox News Untangles the ‘Patently False’ Lies of Trump re: the Russia Probe

It’s getting harder and harder to figure out why Fox News is allowing Shepard Smith to remain on the air. In the recent past he has made a some startlingly harsh condemnations of Donald Trump that were rooted in actual facts. You know, the sort of information that Fox News struggles to suppress for the other twenty-three hours of the day. It’s the sort of honest reporting that is contradicted by Fox’s primetime shills Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Tucker Carlson.

Fox News, Shepard Smith, Donald Trump

On Wednesday Smith launched into an explanation for Trump’s latest tweetstorm that railed against Robert Mueller’s Russian collusion hoax rigged scam witch hunt (did I get them all in?). Aside from exposing his palpable fear and desperation, Trump is piling up more lies that now even Fox News is finding it hard to excuse. Smith began his take-down of Trump (video below) with an introduction that summed things up nicely saying that:

“The White House today echoed President Trump’s false tweet claiming that the [Steele] dossier was the foundation of the special counsel, Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.”

Then Smith played a clip of press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders at today’s press briefing saying that “the entire investigation is based off of a dirty, discredited dossier.” Notice that Sanders has adopted Trump’s speaking patterns. Smith followed that by displaying Trump’s tweet saying that the “rigged witch hunt” by “17 angry Democrats” and “started by a “fraudulent dossier” was “an illegal scam.” You have to give him credit for stuffing so many inane cliches into a single tweet. But it’s Smith who really gets credit for having the courage to tell the truth on Fox News to their audience of glassy-eyed Deplorables:

“in the main, and in its part, that statement is patently false. According to the Republican majority on the House Intelligence Committee, the feds started the Russia investigation in July of 2016, after then-Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos told an Australian diplomat that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton. The diplomat then gave that information over to the FBI.

“And 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. The special counsel, Robert Mueller, is a registered Republican. The Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, is also a Republican. The Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, who swore in Rosenstein, is also a Republican. President Trump, a Republican, appointed Sessions [and Rosenstein too].

“The dossier is 35 pages of research memos Christopher Steele wrote during the 2016 campaign. He’s a former British intelligence agent. A research firm called Fusion GPS compiled the memos. They alleged conspiracies between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to help Mr. Trump win the election over Hillary Clinton.”

If just a small bit of this actually got through to Fox News viewers it might have a discernible impact on the nation’s collective ability to recognize the truth. But most of this won’t even get through to Hannity or the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. It’s a sad commentary on the depth of the delusion that the Trump Cult has spread across Republican America. These cretins are actually supportive of Russia’s interference in our democracy. So why would they be bothered by Trump issuing tweet commands to his A.G. to stop the Mueller probe?

In response to that tweet Sanders told the press corps this afternoon that Trump was just expressing his “opinion,” and that it wasn’t an order directed at Sessions. She had to downplay it in this way because otherwise it would be unambiguously obstruction of justice. In fact, it still is. If your boss said that you should stop working on some terrible project right now, would you consider that only his opinion and that you could ignore it? If Trump succeeds in coercing Sessions to stop the Mueller probe it’s just more evidence of his intent to illegally interfere with the administration of justice. And, by the way, there are way more than 17 angry Democrats. There’s at least 65 million (more than voted for Trump), plus a few sane Republicans who can’t stomach his treason.

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

Shepard Smith of Fox News On Trump’s North Korea Lies: ‘Who Do They Think They’re Kidding’?

In yet another display of desperation, Donald Trump sought to misdirect people’s attention from the voluminous flow of bad news that is threatening to overwhelm him. So he took to Twitter on Tuesday to blast out a parade of blatantly false rants in the hopes of taking the spotlight off his crumbling presidency. They included a slap at Harley Davidson, a crackpot conspiracy about Obama and Iran, some nonsense about the economy, and an insult to Maxine Waters.

Fox News, Donald Trump

However, the most unhinged blathering of the day was in a tweet that took credit for progress with North Korea that was totally imaginary. Trump’s self-exaltation ignored the fact that his own intelligence agencies have learned that Kim Jong Un has actually been advancing his nuclear facilities, not dismantling them. But the facts notwithstanding, Trump tweets that “If not for me, we would now be at War with North Korea!”

Of course it was only Trump’s infantile tantrums that led to the threat of war in the first place. He can hardly take credit now for reducing the tensions by giving Kim everything he wanted without preconditions, certification, or verification. And while most of the Fox News roster of Trump-fluffers has leaped aboard his runaway train, there is one who has his feet planted firmly on the ground.

Shepard Smith addressed the issue of Trump’s negotiations with Kim in a segment on Tuesday’s program. He was interviewing former CIA analyst Tara Maller, who noted that “We’re not any closer to getting towards denuclearization,” and that “All we’ve seen up until now are a lot of words.” Smith agreed saying that “Goals are great. [But the] Reality is awful,” and that North Korea was making “the exact same promise that North Korea has made and broken for decades.” But then he added this:

“I don’t understand who they think they’re kidding here. First, we had maximum sanctions and the world together said ‘no north Korea, no north Korea, no north Korea. Then we got together, took some pictures, said some words, and now the expansion continues. Things seem to be worse. And yet the threats of sanctions and all the rest went away.”

Let me clear up the matter of who Trump thinks he’s kidding. It’s all the the brain-dead Trump cultists who believe everything he says, no matter how delusional. And most of the Fox News audience who have lost all ability to discern fact from obvious bullshit. Smith deserves some credit for recognizing that Trump’s deliberately false tirades have no basis in reality and shouldn’t fool anyone. But he needs to accept that it’s his colleagues at Fox News who are propagating Trump’s lies with the intention of deceiving viewers. That’s who Trump thinks he’s kidding, and he’s right.

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

Popcorn Time: War Breaks Out at Fox News Between Shepard Smith and Sean Hannity

The undisguised, ultra-rightist biases of Fox News are all too familiar to anyone who is paying attention. Particularly since the election of Donald Trump, who has built the Fox Team into a partisan media border wall that works ferociously to defend him no matter how dishonest or disgusting his behavior. Trump even treats Fox as his recruiting pool White House personnel.

Sean Hannity Fox News

However, there is one outpost of semi-sanity on the network that occasionally diverts from the Fox gospel. Afternoon anchor Shepard Smith has been known to propound actual facts in contrast to the deliberate lies and propaganda that infect the rest of Fox’s roster. Notably, he presented a reality-based summary of the Uranium One issue that many Fox squawking heads twisted into a perverse anti-Hillary Clinton harangue. He has also offered a more compassionate view of victims of gun violence than is generally exhibited by Fox’s NRA shills. These sort of segments have made Smith the most hated man on Fox News by Fox News viewers.

Predictably, the news that Smith just signed a new, multiyear contract with Fox News has landed with a thud among the Fox faithful who have been clamoring for him to fired. And a recent profile of Smith by Time Magazine wherein he expressed some candid opinions about his employer and colleagues isn’t going to make them any happier. Smith differentiated his role as a journalist with that of the “entertainers” who populate Fox’s primetime:

“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.” […]

“I get it,” he says, “that some of our opinion programming is there strictly to be entertaining. I get that. I don’t work there. I wouldn’t work there.”

Smith is right. And his characterization of much of Fox’s programming as entertainment is consistent with what Fox News executives have said. News Corpse reported in 2015 a variety of admissions by Fox that they are not really in the news business. Among them the confession that Fox founder and CEO, the late Roger Ailes, gave to the Hollywood Reporter. He dismissed talk that Fox competed with other news networks, instead insisting that “We’re competing with TNT and USA and ESPN.”

But Smith’s remarks did not go unnoticed by his network-mate, Sean Hannity. As the Fox host most fiercely infatuated with Trump, Hannity took offense at being trivialized as an entertainer. He tweeted this response to Smith:


[Note: Hannity deleted this tweet. But you can still see it here]

Smith never mentioned Hannity in his profile, but Hannity had no reservations making this feud personal. His indignation is hysterical considering that he broke none of the “stories” (actually crackpot conspiracy theories) he itemized in his tweet. He merely regurgitated them from other sleazy sources that feed his wingnut fringe fantasies (Breitbart, Infowars, Gateway Pundit, etc.). And then he has the gall to sign off with Fox’s brand new slogan, “Real News.” Fox posted a promo for the new tagline that warned “It’s about to get REAL.” Which kind of implies that it’s been bullshit up until now.

Another problem with Hannity trash-talking Smith is that Hannity himself has denied being a journalist. Or maybe this calmly phrased tweet was just misunderstood:


[Note: Hannity also deleted this tweet. See it here]

Inquiring minds want to know: If Hannity is not a “journalist jackass,” then what kind of jackass is he? It’s almost impossible to tell because he keeps contradicting himself. On his radio show last August he insisted that “I’m a journalist but I’m an advocacy journalist.” Apparently Hannity is whatever he says he is at the time he’s saying it. Like most of what comes out of his mouth, it cannot be taken seriously or relied upon to be operative an hour later.

Poor Hannity must be terribly disturbed by how badly he is being crushed by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow lately. He was moved by Fox to directly compete with her a few months ago, but they may be regretting that now. All it did was affirm how weak he is as a TV personality. And while there are a lot of Fox viewers who would like to see Smith fired, there are many more American who would prefer that Hannity is sent packing. And you can help by signing on here: Stop Hannity.

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

Fox News – Yes, Fox News – Says Trump is a Divisive Failure Looking for Distractions

The current press attention being placed on subjects like the NFL was created entirely by Donald Trump during his routine morning Tweetstorm. Not that systemic racism isn’t an important issue. But Trump’s framing of it is utterly dishonest. He’s trying to turn it into a debate over patriotism and flag worship.

Fox News Donald Trump

What’s interesting about this attempt at media manipulation is that it’s failing in big way. And it isn’t just the usual suspects in the liberal section who are criticizing Trump. The chief political anchor on Fox News, Bret Baier, is now among those who can no longer ignore Trump’s obvious efforts to deflect from his own scandals. Baier was interviewed by his colleague Jon Scott on Monday (video below):

Jon Scott: It’s kind of interesting to me Bret because the controversy over Colin Kaepernick taking a knee – that’s kind of where this all started – pretty well died down. And then the President found a way to dredge it up in his speech on Friday. I guess the question is why?

Bret Baier: Well, that is a good question. I think there were six kneeling protests before Friday. The speech Friday and the tweets that followed, there were 200+ as you just heard from John Roberts. […] I think that the president clearly has stirred this up, and it is an emotional discussion. What we are not discussing is that he may likely lose in the senate primary in Alabama. Looks like it is an uphill battle for Luther Strange there. We will see. We’re not talking talking about the fact that the health care repeal and replace bill is probably on life support in the senate. And we are not talking about the troubles that North Korea is just in the past hour putting out there. So, it is an interesting dichotomy to be talking about all this that has been stirred up in the past three days.

Indeed. Trump’s attempts to divert the press and the public from more serious concerns is so clumsy that even Fox News is reporting it. And they left out another matter that Trump is likely trying to suppress. That’s the ongoing investigation of Russia’s involvement with him and his campaign. Scott went further to note that “even some of his most ardent supporters disagree with him on this one.” Baier concurred and noted that Trump’s profane language, calling sports figures “S.O.B.s,” crossed a line with his supporters. But he also praised Trump as the “ultimate marketer” due to his use of that kind of rhetoric. Baier and Scott summed it up saying that:

Baier: Sometimes the motivation behind it, why he’s doing that, is in question. And I think that it has created this divisive moment where it’s definitely a conversation around kitchen tables around America. And at water coolers and coffee shops. But does it come to a resolution? We’ll see.

Scott: It does distract from the GOP efforts to try to replace ObamaCare. As you said earlier.

Baier and Scott were not the only ones at Fox News who noticed Trump’s diversionary tactics. Anchor Shepard Smith called out Trump’s reframing as “they’re attacking the national anthem, they’re attacking the troops, they’re attacking the flag. None of which they’re doing.” Smith speculated that this was all a call to Trump’s base “so that they don’t notice there is no health care and Korea is the biggest mess since the Cold War.” And he acknowledged the role of the press by admitting that “We’re complicit.” All of this is certain to result in a predictable future event: Another Trump Tweetstorm.

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

Profiles in Cowardice: Republicans Are Refusing All Interview Requests to Defend Trump’s Bigotry

On Thursday morning Donald Trump tripled down on his support for the Confederacy and the bigotry it fought to preserve. His latest tweetstorm gushed over the “beauty” of the statues of traitors that he says “will be greatly missed.” And he’s right. They will be missed by the white supremacists and racists who have been applauding Trump’s advocacy of their cause.

Shepard Smith Fox News

However, outside of the alt-rightists and Klan members that have rallied around his pro-Nazi remarks, Trump has garnered scant support from his own Republican colleagues. Many have taken to putting out their own condemnations of the violence instigated by bigots in Charlottesville. They include GOP leaders like House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Unfortunately, in most cases they merely express opposition to racism without holding their president accountable for exacerbating the hate.

These weakly conveyed messages of tolerance demonstrate the fear that Republicans have of directly countering Trump. They remain committed to his presidency and his agenda. They just can’t bring themselves to utter his name in conjunction with the division he is fomenting.

They also can’t bring themselves to defend him on television. Every cable news network is complaining that their efforts to book Republicans to defend the President are coming up empty. This is an astonishing turn of events. Publicity-hungry politicians are actually declining to appear on TV to promote their party and president. Here are some examples of the media response to this unprecedented situation:

Chuck Todd, MSNBC: We invited every single Republican senator on this program tonight, all 52. We asked roughly a dozen house Republicans including a bunch of committee chairs and we asked a half-dozen officials. And none of them agreed to discuss this issue with us today.

Wolf Blitzer, CNN: We did reach out to Republican leaders throughout the day. They all, at least for now, refused to join us. But the invitation is clearly still very much open.

Shepard Smith, Fox News: Our booking team reached out to Republicans of all stripes across the country today. Let’s be honest. Republicans don’t mind coming on Fox News channel. We couldn’t get anyone to come and defend him here. We thought in balance, someone should do that. We worked very hard at it throughout the day. We were unsuccessful.

That’s right. Even Fox News, the PR division of the Republican Party, is unable to convince a single Republican to go on the air to support their leader. They can still book GOP advocates of nuking North Korea or throwing millions of Americans off of their healthcare plans. But asking them to backup the President’s recent cheerleading for neo-Nazis is apparently where they draw the line.

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

It remains to be seen how long they can hold out. Trump is already tweeting attacks on party mates who dare to criticize him. Thursday morning he unleashed his typically infantile insults on Senators Lindsay Graham and Jeff Flake. Expect those Twitter tantrums to continue as Trump’s ultra-sensitive ego is bruised by others disloyal to Dear Leader. Before long the only people willing to defend Trump on TV will be David Duke and Ivanka. And I’m not all that sure about Ivanka.

Fox News Anchor Shepard Smith Wants to Know ‘Why is it Lie After Lie After Lie?’

The saga of Donald Trump, Jr. continues to unfold with more damning evidence surfacing everyday. The meeting that he attended last June was originally said to be about Russian adoption. Then they expanded it to say it might have covered opposition research on Hillary Clinton. Then emails were released showing that the meeting was solicited wholly as a campaign dirt exchange and that the Russian government was involved. Most recently it turns out that an alleged Russian spy was in attendance as well.

Shepard Smith Fox News

This web of deliberate deceit has left mouths agape on both sides of the political aisle. Staunch conservatives like Charles Krauthammer and Ralph Peters have blasted the Trump family’s brazen dishonesty and feeble cover ups. This outrage has even extended to Fox News anchors who are no longer capable of masking their astonished disbelief. An example of this occurred Friday in the following exchange between Shepard Smith and Chris Wallace (video below):

Wallace: “We’ve been told a variety of stories, and who knows if we’ve gotten to the end of the story?

Smith: “We’re still not clean on this, Chris. If there’s nothing there – and that’s what they tell us, they tell us there’s nothing to this and nothing came of it. There’s a nothing burger. It wasn’t even memorable, didn’t write it down. Didn’t tell you about it, because it wasn’t anything so I didn’t even remember it. With a Russian interpreter in the room at Trump Tower? If all of that, why all these lies? Why is it lie after lie after lie? […] The deception, Chris, is mind-boggling. And there are still people who are out there who believe we’re are making it up. And one day they’re gonna realize we’re not and look around and go, ‘Where are we, and why are we getting told all these lies?'”

Wallace: “I don’t know what to say. You know, I think there’s a lot of truth to everything that you’ve said.”

Indeed. The look on Wallace’s face, and delayed reaction was telling in itself. That’s pretty much the only response Wallace could have made. The flimsy obfuscation and diversions by Trump and his media shills is painfully obvious. And yet, they continue to pile on the lies even after they are exposed. The complaints from hacks like Kellyanne Conway, Sean Hannity, etc., fail to do anything but shower them all in shame. Nevertheless, Fox News flunkies like Eric Bolling, Jesse Watters, and the Fox and Friends crew are still spinning furiously. But as the truth slowly leaks out they will be left in a pool of embarrassment and disgrace.

Credit must be given to Smith and Wallace who are demonstrating that they aren’t afraid to acknowledge reality on occasion. If this is done more frequently there may be some hope that brainwashed Fox News viewers will see the light. That’s a lot to hope for. But we have to start somewhere.

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

FINALLY: CNN Calls Out Trump For ‘A Presidency Shaped By Fox News’

From the beginning of Donald Trump’s candidacy he was fawned over by adoring anchors and pundits on Fox News. They rushed to defend him at every turn and praised whatever lame-brained or hateful scheme he would propose. The network turned over so many hours of valuable airtime they should have been designated as campaign contributions. He had a long-running regular segment on Fox and Friends called “Mondays with Trump.” And Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity kept the door open for him to appear, or call in, at his convenience.

CNN Brian Stelter

Since becoming president, Trump has made a habit of harvesting topics from his obsessive viewing of Fox. There have been numerous instances of him tweeting about something that had aired shortly before on his favorite network. He clearly relies more on conspiracy theories from Fox than he does on the intelligence agencies that work for him. It’s a perverse and frightening state of affairs.

Sunday, on CNN’s Reliable Sources, host Brian Stelter delivered a commentary about this titled “Welcome to the Fox News Presidency.” It was a long overdue examination of the incestuous relationship between Trump and Fox. Stelter began by noting that:

“Five of his seven sit-down TV interviews since taking office have been with Fox News. Trump watches Fox. He tweets about Fox. He uses Fox graphics to advance his agenda. He’s hired Fox talking heads. He promotes Fox as fair while denigrating its rivals as fake. All of this amounts to a Fox News presidency. What I mean by that is a presidency shaped by Fox News in all sorts of ways, big and small.”

Indeed. Trump has exhibited an abject fear of taking questions from any news organization other than his pals at Fox. His assaults on the free press are frequent and biting (as well as childish and false). But his compliments for Fox are effusive and unrestrained. Meanwhile, anyone critical of Trump often finds themselves locked out. Just ask Megyn Kelly and George Will. Independent thought is not a value favored by Fox executives. Perhaps Shepard Smith should watch his back.

In addition to the Trumpification of Fox News, there has been a simultaneous Foxification of the Trump administration. Former Foxies on the White House payroll include K.T. McFarland, Ben Carson, Sebastion Gorka, Heather Nauert, and Jonathan Wachtel. Fox’s Monica Crowley was also hired by Trump, but she was forced to resign after the rampant plagiarism in her book was revealed. This is an unprecedented migration of media hacks to political flacks.

Stelter’s commentary is an encouraging, albeit late, beginning for the media honestly characterizing the formation of Trump’s Ministry of Propaganda. More of this reporting will be necessary as Trump continues to steamroll the First Amendment and blur the lines between media and politics.

Trump recently told Fox’s Tucker Carlson that “When I have close to 100 million people watching me on [social media…] I have my own form of media.” Someone should tell him that another term for a president with his “own form of media” is “state-run media.” The press is not supposed to be a tool for the president’s communications. That’s how it’s done in dictatorships, but not in America. Maybe Trump has been consulting too much with his BFF, Vladimir Putin.

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

Trump Blames Fox News For Wacky Wiretap Conspiracy Theory – And Fox Bites Back

In the brief time that Donald Trump has occupied the White House he has set records for uttering blatant falsehoods. However, none have gone as far over the line as his accusation that President Obama wiretapped his phones. No evidence of this alleged felony was provided by Trump or any agency of law enforcement. Even Republican leaders in Congress have made unequivocal statements denying the existence of any proof for Trump’s reckless charges. Included in that group: David Nunes, the GOP chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House.

Fox News Donald Trump

Consequently, without any hesitation or shame, Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer (aka Fibby Spice), launched a wild-eyed rant insisting that Trump was right. At Thursday’s press briefing he recited a litany of alleged “proof,” that utterly failed to back him up. And the references that weren’t irrelevant were mostly just the ramblings of partisan hacks like Sean Hannity. For some reason Trump relies more on Fox News and Alex Jones than the intelligence agencies that work for him.

The issue came up again Friday at a joint press conference with Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Specifically, the allegation floated by Spicer that Obama conspired with British intelligence to conduct his wiretapping adventure. This crackpot theory was introduced by Judge Andrew Napolitano of Fox News. The British authorities vehemently denied this, calling it “ridiculous.” But Trump refused to retreat, instead choosing to direct the blame to his pals at Fox News (video below):

TRUMP: “We said nothing. All we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind who was the one responsible for saying that on television. I didn’t make an opinion on it. That was a statement made by a very talented lawyer on Fox. So you shouldn’t be talking to me. You should be talking to Fox.”

First of all, quoting someone is not saying nothing. Your press secretary used the quote to support your preposterous accusations of imaginary wiretaps. You cannot use that as validation and then claim not have said anything. As for “talking to Fox,” apparently someone took him up that. Fox’s Shepard Smith addressed the controversy and sharply repudiated Trump’s position:

SHEPARD SMITH: “Fox News cannot confirm Judge Napolitano’s commentary. Fox News knows of no evidence of any kind that the now-President of the United States was surveilled at any time, in any way. Full stop.”

So according to Fox News Trump’s phony wiretapping fantasy has zero credibility. Also according to Fox News, their senior judicial analyst, Napolitano, has credibility issues of his own. And yet, Fox continues to serve as Trump’s Ministry of Propaganda. When they aren’t shielding him from criticism they’re praising him as the second coming of St. Reagan. It appears that Trump is determined to eventually prove his campaign boast that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any support. And when he does, Fox News will report that a deranged leftist subversive ran in front of Trump’s bullet.

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

Trump Blaming Fox News:

Shepard Smith’s response: