Trump’s Desperation Shows as He Tries to Shank Schiff But Shafts Himself Instead

Calling out Donald Trump for hypocrisy may seem like a needlessly redundant exercise, but occasionally there are episodes of sanctimony that are so pernicious they simply can’t be ignored. And one of those episodes is playing out now on Trump’s Twitter feed as he feebly lashes out at one of his congressional critics that he fears most.

Donald Trump

Several days ago the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, was awarded four “Pinocchios” by the Washington Post fact checker, Glenn Kessler. It was a controversial call that may be holding Schiff to an overly strict standard.

The issue concerned Schiff’s answer to a question from MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough on whether he or his staff had “contact” with the Trump whistleblower prior to the filing of a complaint. Schiff said that there was no contact but, in fact, the whistleblower did speak with a Committee staffer, who merely advised him to file his complaint with the Intelligence community Inspector General. No details of the complaint were disclosed, and there was no other coordination of any kind. So is it really considered “contact” if all they did was to tell someone the proper channels to go through?

Despite these facts, Trump and his surrogates in right-wing media immediately seized on this issue to falsely accuse Schiff of some sort of deviancy. Trump even accused Schiff of treason and impotently demanded that he resign. Of course all that shows is that Trump is an ignoramus who is completely clueless about both treason and the limits of presidential authority. However, in his excitement to express his hostility in that infantile manner he is known for, Trump posted a tweet with a doctored version of the song “I Got No Strings” from Walt Disney’s animated classic “Pinocchio.”

The substance of this video is typically littered with lies and dishonest White House talking points. The truth, as noted above, illustrates that, while Schiff may not have been sufficiently clear, he did not lie or intend to mislead. Trump, on the other hand, is a notorious liar. In fact, the Washington Post has documented more than 12,000 lies by Trump since his inauguration. Converted to “Pinocchios” that’s about 48,000, compared to only four for Schiff.

Making matters worse, Trump’s tweet is a blatant violation of intellectual property laws. The video and the music it contains is owned by Disney and is being used without permission. The theft of intellectual property is an issue that Trump has spoken about on numerous occasions, primarily to criticize China. This occurred most recently just six weeks ago:

There’s a lot of idiocy in that tweet, but for the time being let’s focus on the copyright theft. Because that’s something Trump does with frequency. Other recent examples include:

So while Trump is adamant that China not be permitted to engage in the theft of intellectual property, he thinks it’s entirely fine for him to do so – repeatedly. He’s a recidivist thief. And it’s wholly in character for him to believe that he can do whatever he wants, even if he’s chastised others for doing the same thing. That’s a textbook trait of malignant narcissists.

In addition to those incidents itemized above, Stephen Colbert actually made two demands that Trump stop stealing his work. One was about a year ago when he put Trump on notice for cribbing his famous monologue about trusting one’s gut more than one’s brain. What’s sad is that Colbert’s original piece was a joke, but Trump was serious. The other one was just this week when Colbert castigated Trump for stealing his idea to dig a moat at the border and stock it with alligators (video below). Once again, Colbert was kidding, Trump, incredibly, was not. Which means that Trump is not just a thief, he’s a raving lunatic. And in his pathetic and dishonest attempt to flame Rep. Schiff, he winds up burning himself.

UPDATE: Trump has upped the ante is now accusing both Schiff, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and others of treason. More proof that his dementia is accelerating rapidly.

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

LOL: Donald Trump’s ‘Official Presidential Job Performance Survey’ Plagiarizes Stephen Colbert

The first days of 2019 are promising to be just as challenging for Donald Trump as the past two years. He is presiding over a government that has been partially shut down for twelve days. His pronouncements about abruptly retreating from Syria were castigated by his fellow Republican Nationalists. And the specter of special counsel Robert Mueller continues throw a dark shadow over Trump and his crime family.

Stephen Colbert & Trump Baby

The most pressing problem for Trump is the government shutdown that has put hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work. These are innocent victims of Trump’s self-absorbed stubbornness who are unable to pay their mortgages or buy groceries. And all because of an idiotic vanity wall on the southern border that even he says was already paid for by Mexico via the new (but unratified) USMCA trade deal between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.

Polls show that the American people are blaming Trump for the shutdown that he said he was proud to be the cause of. They are also opposed to the wall altogether. That is likely a contributor to Trump’s overall approval rating continuing to scrape the bottom of the political ocean floor, as it has since he was inaugurated.

Consequently, Trump is seeking to manufacture some support to rub on his inflamed ego. So he’s running a poll of his own to cuddle up with on the nights when Sean Hannity doesn’t call. The poll is designated on his website as the “Official Presidential Job Performance Survey.” And it is exactly the sort of brazenly biased piece of uselessness that you would expect.

It’s a single question poll that asks: “How would you rate President Trump’s job performance so far?” And then it gives you multiple choice options for your response. They are “Great,” “Good,” “OK,” and “Other.” So Trump isn’t providing any options that explicitly confer a negative response. It’s pretty darn close to Stephen Colbert’s famous questioning of public figures as to whether the President was “a great president, or the greatest president.” (Video below) But Colbert was doing it for laughs. Trump is serious. It’s because he needs to be treated like a baby who can’t handle even mild criticism. And the Republican Party ran the exact same poll on Trump’s behalf last year.

At the bottom of the poll is the real reason for its existence. It requires you to enter your name and email address before your responses will be recorded. So this is actually just a phishing expedition to include you into a database that they will exploit for their nefarious political ends. So if you don’t mind being added to a list of Trump’s Deplorables, go ahead and tell him what you really think.

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

Devin Nunes To Fox News: Stephen Colbert is ‘The Danger That We Have in This Country’

The first year of Donald Trump’s presidency has seen innumerable crises develop domestically and throughout the world. There have been several shootings on school campuses. Our elections have been tampered with by Russia, and they’re still doing it. Trump is threatening nuclear war with North Korea. And his proposal to impose tariffs (mostly on our allies) sent the stock market into a tailspin.

Stephen Colbert & Trump Baby

So what does Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Select Intelligence Committee, consider to be one of the most serious hazards facing America? Well, of course, it’s late night television comedy, and specifically Stephen Colbert. Nunes was interviewed on Fox News by their resident Financial Distortion Anchor, Neil Cavuto (video below). The segment had nothing to do with the economy, but it did get to the bottom of the frightening assault on America by radical satirists. It began withe this probing exchange:

Cavuto: You mention that the media doesn’t present a fair case of [Trump/Russia]. Maybe the indication of that is that you’ve recently become the butt of late night comic jokes. Particularly Stephen Colbert was up on Capitol Hill. I think making you the butt of some jokes. What did you think of that? Did Colbert make any effort to talk to you?”
Nunes: Well, I think that this is the danger that we have in this country. The left controls not only the universities in this country, but they also control Hollywood in this country, and the mainstream media. So conservatives in this country are under attack and I think this is a great example of it.

Exactly. Stephen Colbert absolutely is “the danger” that America faces. And kudos to Cavuto for bringing up this looming peril. Where else but on Fox News could this travesty be exposed? Nunes points out that the reason the nation is undergoing such unprecedented turmoil is that leftists have seized control of the most powerful institutions in the country – universities and Hollywood – and are using them to enslave the minds of decent citizens. However, he doesn’t explain why these scurrilous lefties allowed Republicans to control the Congress, the Supreme Court, and the White House.

Also unexplained is how the special counsel, Robert Mueller, managed to get (so far) nineteen indictments and five guilty pleas connected to his investigation of Trump’s unsavory connections to Russia. But rest assured, somehow it’s the fault of universities, Hollywood, and Colbert. And Nunes isn’t taking it laying down. He doesn’t intend to be the butt of anyone’s joke, no matter how much he deserves it. In fact, he likes it:

Nunes: So I hope they continue to do it. Because on the one hand you’ll see the left and the media running out there saying “OMG, this is the end of the world. The Russians attacked our democracy. And we have evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.” However, they can’t show it. They have no proof […] they resort to going to their friends in Hollywood to make fun of people and attack people who are trying to get to the truth. I enjoy the attacks. If they want to continue to attack me, that’s fine.”

Well, we certainly wouldn’t want to disappoint him, would we? Although it’s puzzling that he says he enjoys it while simultaneously complaining that it’s an unfair attack and a danger to the country. Is he an unpatriotic masochist?

Nunes’ remarks were rife with allegations as to the identity of the real colluders – naturally, Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. And when Cavuto asked him about allegations that he was “doing the President’s bidding,” he curiously replied “I don’t know.” Then quickly stammering to add “I mean, we don’t get any orders from the White House.” Which makes perfect sense. They are probably coming from Mar-A-Lago, where the President spends most of his time.

Nunes went on to praise his committee’s work and insisted that he “follows the facts where they lead.” So long as they lead to Clinton and the Democrats. He refused to allow his Democratic committee colleagues to call witnesses. And he wouldn’t hold White House witnesses accountable when they refused to answer questions. Nunes falsely claimed that “no one would know … that Fusion GPS was paid by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party’ but for his efforts. In fact, it was reported by the (fake?) media long before he ever got around to it.

Once again, Fox News uncovers the atrocities in Washington that are neglected by the “mainstream” media (which, for some reason doesn’t include Fox News). And heroes like Devin Nunes are permitted time to inform the American people about what is really going on in this gawd-awful country. With journalism like this we will hopefully soon be rid of fake reporters like Colbert who are working tirelessly to destroy America.

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

Here is the Fox News segment with Cavuto and Nunes:

And here is video of Colbert’s trip to Washington, D.C.:

Fox News Wants You to Believe That Trump-Bashing Killed the Emmys – It Didn’t

The preliminary Nielsen ratings for the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards broadcast are in and they aren’t particularly good. The program drew about 11.2 million viewers, which is down slightly from last year’s show. But leave it to Fox News to turn this minor slippage into a political catastrophe caused by the relentless liberalism of Hollywood elites.

Emmys Stephen Colbert

An op-ed on the Fox News website trumpeted the ratings results with a speculative headline asking “Emmys ratings crater; Trump-bashing to blame?” The argument presented by Fox’s Brian Flood was that criticism of Donald Trump sunk the broadcast to new lows. He writes that:

“It looks like the 69th annual Emmy Awards are heading into sub-basement territory in terms of ratings after host Stephen Colbert spent much of Sunday’s event attacking President Trump. It turns out American viewers may not have been as into Trump bashing as Hollywood would like them to be.”

For the record, host Stephen Colbert didn’t spend much of the night attacking Trump. In all he spent less than three minutes out of a three hour program. But the real absurdity of this analysis is that it proposes something that’s impossible. Fox News thinks that viewers chose not to watch the program based on their clairvoyant observation of the Trump-bashing before it even began. Obviously, without such ESP skills they would not have known not to tune in.

In fact, the Emmy broadcast has been scoring lower numbers for several years. Trump wasn’t president when the ratings began a falling trend. The reasons knowledgeable people attribute to the decline are that television doesn’t have the popular appeal of the Oscars and the Grammys. What’s more, many of the winning programs are now airing on services like Netflix and Hulu that have fewer viewers than broadcast TV. Consequently, the stars are not as familiar or compelling. And airing against Sunday Night Football didn’t help either.

That didn’t stop Fox News from setting up their biased perspective and interviewing political partisans to support it. Flood first sought the opinion of Dan Gainor of the ultra-conservative Media Research Center. Predictably, Gainor slammed the event as “a Hollywood bubble show.” He further castigated television’s creative community as out-of-touch with America and unqualified to express an opinion. That’s a point of view that disappears from right-wingers when the TV personality is one of theirs. Case in point: Donald Trump (or Ronald Reagan, Ted Nugent, Clint Eastwood, Scott Baio, etc.).

The argument that Americans might have tuned out the Emmys because they objected to jokes about Trump also fails logically. Trump is currently sitting on record low ratings himself. And that’s from the American people, not a select groups of show business professionals. With his approval numbers wallowing in the mid-thirties, it’s unlikely that the program lost many viewers who were loyal to Trump. If anything, the fact that most Americans are repulsed and embarrassed by him might have drawn in a bigger audience. There is substantial appetite in the country for the Trump-bashing that Fox News is lamenting. An example of that is the fact that Colbert has become the top rated late night talk show host largely due to his nightly mockery of the President.

The program did feature some sharp jabs at Trump’s expense. Veep’s Julia Louis Dreyfus noted that her show had considered an impeachment plot line, but abandoned it because they were worried that “someone else” might beat them to it. Alec Baldwin, who’s portrayal of Trump on Saturday Night Live won him an Emmy, consoled Trump by giving him partial credit for an award he never won himself. But the most cutting comedy came from the reunited stars of 9-to-5 who said:

Jane Fonda: Back in 1980 in that movie, we refused to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.
Lily Tomlin: And in 2017, we still refuse to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.

Those are the sort of comments that Fox News and their conservative disciples regard as intolerable attacks against their White House Messiah. And for some reason they get away with calling liberals “snowflakes” for being too sensitive. Yet it doesn’t bother them when Trump himself posts tweets that show him assaulting Hillary Clinton. Apparently joking about physically attacking women is perfectly acceptable to these Deplorables. But Fox News finds it necessary to write op-eds that lie about the Emmys just because they can’t handle a few harmless jokes.

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

Shades of Stephen Colbert: Republican National Committee Runs Most Ludicrous Poll Ever

Things continue to go south for Donald Trump and his Republican Party. But could anyone have predicted this utterly asinine nonsense? This is an actual poll question sent by the RNC:


This is how desperate the GOP is to pump up their floundering president. They have resorted to a poll that doesn’t allow the respondent to register any criticism. That’s because Trump has to be treated like like a baby who has to be given constant positive reinforcement. There are actually White House aides who have to find stories that praise Trump and deliver them twice a day to the Infant-in-Chief.

This is so pathetic it’s hard to make fun of. Not only is Trump unfit for office, the GOP is enabling his narcissism. And in doing so they even ripped off a joke by Stephen Colbert, except they are taking it seriously.

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

Trolling Trump Pays Off HUGE for Stephen Colbert: Ratings Leader and 5 Emmy Nominations

When Stephen Colbert took over for David Letterman on CBS’ “The Late Show” he got off to a surprisingly slow start. Audiences may have had trouble distinguishing the “real” Colbert from the character who hosted Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report.” Stephen may have had some trouble with that as well.

Stephen Colbert

However, a few months ago, Colbert hit his stride as he took more direct aim at politics generally, and Donald Trump in particular. The writing got sharper and funnier. Colbert was more confident and seemed to be more comfortable in his own skin. And as a reward for taking a bigger bite out of the ludicrous state of the nation, the show quickly rose to the top of the ratings hill. For the first time in years the “Tonight Show,” now starring Jimmy Fallon, was knocked from its perch.

Last week Colbert aired a special series of programs with segments taped during his recent trip to Russia. Among his adventures were an interview of a Russian oligarch and a night in the infamous “pee pee” room. He also guested on a Russian talk show where he announced that he’s considering a run for president in 2020. The obvious dig at the ongoing scandals involving the unsavory connections to Russia by Trump and his associates paid off bigly for Colbert. He scored his highest rated week since the program’s debut in 2015. According to the Hollywood Reporter:

“Stephen Colbert got a lot of love for his ‘Russia Week.’ The CBS late-night host, who documented his trip to St. Petersburg and Moscow, rolled out the segments for another big ratings win.

“For the week of July 17-21, Colbert’s The Late Show averaged nearly 2.9 million viewers before any DVR lifts. Not only is that a 14 percent jump from the same week during the prior year, but it also marks his widest margin of victory over NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon since Colbert’s CBS premiere week nearly two years ago. The Late Show outperformed Tonight by nearly half a million viewers.”

And there’s more good news for Colbert in addition to the Nielsen victory. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences released the list of Emmy nominees for 2017 on Tuesday. The Late Show was nominated for “Best Variety Talk Series.” The program also received nominations for directing and writing, for a total of five Emmy nods for the show. And if that weren’t enough, Colbert will be hosting the Emmy Awards broadcast on Sunday, Sept. 17, on CBS.

There is an important lesson to be learned from Colbert’s success. America is bitterly disappointed with the ignorant, lying, bully occupying the White House. They are embarrassed by his infantile antics and blatant crimes. All the polls bear out this view of Trump as the most unpopular president in modern times. And his policies are as out of favor as he is.

Last May Trump made the mistake of taking a couple of swings at Colbert. He called Colbert a “no-talent guy” and said there was “nothing funny” about him. But Trump never never mentioned him again after Colbert’s devastating on-air response. That’s just one of the ways that Colbert is the beneficiary of Trump’s arrogance and fragile ego.

Colbert’s success proves that Americans are hungry for relief from the constant shame that Trump imposes on the country. And until such time as that relief comes in the form of his leaving office, they are clinging to some comic relief to get them through the day. Every rating point and award for Colbert is a vote against Trump, and you can bet it’s gnawing at him. Hopefully he will tweet about it and give Colbert some more material that’s ripe for hilarious mockery.

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

Stephen Colbert Makes a Mind-Blowing Announcement While Guesting on Russian TV

Fans of Stephen Colbert may have noticed his mysterious disappearance this week. His Thursday and Friday broadcasts of Late Night were replaced with repeats without explanation. The scheduling change was peculiar considering all of the current events that would be ripe for Colbert’s brand of satire. But now it can be told where he was and what he was doing.

Stephen Colbert

A video of Colbert has surfaced (posted below) revealing that he was in Russia. He was making a guest appearance on “Evening Urgant,” a Russian talk show similar to the one Colbert hosts. Ivan Urgant interviewed Colbert and joined him in a round of vodka shots. Colbert graciously toasted his hosts saying:

“To the beautiful and friendly Russian people. I don’t understand why no members of the Trump administration can remember meeting you.”

That toast obviously went out to folks like Michael Flynn, Jeff Sessions, and Jared Kushner, who all seemed to have trouble recalling the meetings they had with Russian operatives. Colbert was surprised that they would forget such lovely people. Of course, most Americans would have no problem remembering having met with agents of a hostile foreign nation. For some reason, Donald Trump’s associates have no problem forgetting. Repeatedly.

During the course of the interview, Colbert interrupted Urgant and asked if he could make an announcement. His host courteously consented. So Colbert turned to the camera and, with a dead serious expression, said:

“I am here to announce that I am considering a run for president in 2020. And I thought it would be better to cut out the middle man and just tell the Russians myself. If anyone would like to work on my campaign, in an unofficial capacity, please just let me know.”

Colbert demonstrated his deft political sophistication by not bothering to wait until Russian spies captured and leaked this information. Why not just tell them personally? Although, for all we know Trump did the very same thing. With all of the contacts between Russians and his top advisers, they might have been working together to sink Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The only difference is that they collaborated in secret and lied about, while Colbert did it on live TV.

Urgant was happy to receive Colbert’s news. And he subtly noted that the Russian political machine that aided Trump would be at his disposal when the campaign began:

“It’s a pleasure to drink with the future U.S. President. To you, Stephen. I wish you luck. We will do everything we can so you become president.”

So there you have it. The fix is in. In three short years the United States may inaugurate its first Comedic-American president. The crass ceiling will be broken. Given the historically low approval ratings for Trump, Colbert’s ascendancy to the White House can only be an improvement. After all, his approval ratings, as measured by the Nielsen Company, place him at number one.

It’s too soon to know just when the next opening for a new president will occur. Trump is facing imminent peril for impeachment and prosecution for obstruction of justice and financial misconduct. But at the very latest, the next presidential election cycle for 2020 just might result in the inauguration of President Stephen Colbert. I can hardly wait.

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

Trump Makes a Big Mistake By Insulting Stephen Colbert. Gets Smacked Right in the Truthiness

What is it about spoiled narcissists that makes them think they can out-snark professional comedians? On Thursday Donald Trump took time off from his Twitter tantrums to attack Stephen Colbert. Never mind that his presidency is up to its neck in criminal investigations and scandal. Or that serious issues like North Korea, healthcare, tax reform, terrorism, and climate change are pending. A comedian said something that Trump didn’t like and, dammit, that required the immediate attention of the President.

Stephen Colbert & Trump Baby

So Trump sprung into action with a forthright declaration of principle. It is certain to go down in history with Churchill’s “blood, sweat, and tears,” and Kennedy’s “ask what you can do for your country.” Trump mustered up all his rhetorical prowess to tell Time Magazine that:

“You see a no-talent guy like Colbert. There’s nothing funny about what he says. And what he says is filthy. And you have kids watching. And it only builds up my base. It only helps me, people like him.”

Where to begin? Colbert’s millions of fans might disagree with Trump’s assessment of him as a “no-talent guy”. And it appears that the only people who don’t think he’s funny are Trump and his cadre of glassy-eyed disciples. And if Trump really believes that people like Colbert are helping him, then why is he complaining? Shouldn’t he be encouraging more of what Colbert does so that he can get more of the benefit from it.

As for the filthiness of Colbert’s material, that complaint is cute coming from the pussy-grabber-in-chief. Not to mention that Trump is notorious for his own affinity for profanity. Who can forget when he told American business that they could “go f*ck themselves”? Or when he promised to “bomb the sh*t” out of ISIS? He wasn’t deterred by the fact that there were children in the audience.

Speaking of which, what kind of parent is Trump? He seems to think that America’s children are awake at 11:30pm watching television? Just because he watches TV constantly and behaves like a child doesn’t mean that actual children are staying up to catch Colbert. Most parents don’t let their kids stay up that late. But then again, most kids don’t act so immaturely. To be fair, Trump has to watch TV a lot, especially Fox News. That’s where he gets all of his policy ideas from.

But if you think Trump was through, you don’t know Trump. He continued his rant to further disparage Colbert and, of course, to exalt himself:

“The guy was dying, by the way. They were going to take him off television. Then he started attacking me and he started doing better. But his show was dying. I’ve done his show. But when I did his show, which by the way was very highly rated. It was high – highest rating. The highest rating he’s ever had.”

Huh? Trump just made the argument that Colbert wasn’t successful until the show starting attacking him. That’s evidence that America’s TV viewers were just waiting for someone to bash Trump. And when Colbert began doing so they rewarded him by becoming loyal viewers. Is that really the point Trump wants to make?

As for Trump’s claims about the ratings, he is just adding to his many previous bouts with delusion. There weren’t thousands of Muslims celebrating 9/11 in New Jersey. His inauguration didn’t have the largest attendance in history. And his appearance on The Late Show was not its highest rated show. In fact, as Colbert pointed out, a program with Jeb Bush as the featured guest rated higher. So did the premiere.

What all of this leads up to is Thursday night’s show where Colbert responded to Trump’s vacation from reality. And it was delicious. Colbert began by noting that Trump had addressed “the most important issue to him: this show.” Colbert’s reaction to being personally called out by the President was “YAY!” He regarded it as proof that he had won by finally getting Trump to say his name. And then he spoke directly to the President:

“Making jokes about you has been good for my ratings. It’s almost as if the majority of Americans didn’t want you to be president. […] You know who’s got really bad ratings these days? You do. Terrible approval numbers. I hear they’re thinking about switching your time slot with Mike Pence. And since all of my success is the result of talking about you, if you really want to take me down there’s an obvious way. Resign.”

Watch the segment here. But don’t laugh. He’s a no-talent guy who isn’t funny.

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

Seth Meyers: Fox News Is Basically The Closest Thing We Have To State TV

The political satire scene took a couple of body blows when Jon Stewart left The Daily Show and Stephen Colbert gave up his Colbert Report. The slack was taken up ably by John Oliver, Samantha Bee, and a resurgent Saturday Night Live. But a leading light in this arena has been Late Night with Seth Meyers.

Seth Meyers Fox News

This week Meyers delivered one of the best take downs of Fox News since Jon Stewart left the stage. In this segment Meyers begins by noting that the sexual harassment allegations against Bill O’Reilly offer an example of Fox News’ “symbiotic relationship” with Donald Trump. And, yes, Meyers makes the connection.

However, the segment goes into much greater detail on how Fox News is a network in service of propaganda. Meyers spells it out in plain language saying that “They [Fox] give him [Trump] glowing, unquestioning coverage, and in return he gives them unparalleled access.” That’s it in a nutshell. But Meyers isn’t through. He manages to put together a variety of samples of Fox’s sycophantic sucking up to Trump. “Fox News,” he said, “is basically the closest thing we have to state TV” And furthermore:

“This is the network that the President relies on for information? A network with an archaic culture of sexual harassment, fear, and intimidation, that also serves – with a few exceptions – as a propaganda arm.”

Meyers points out how Trump has been promoting Fox News programs on his Twitter feed. “Instead of a bible,” Meyers says, “Trump should have been sworn in on a TV Guide.” And Fox News happily reciprocates by promoting Trump’s promotions of Fox. The clip with Fox and Friends co-host Steve Doocy is worth the price of admission by itself.

The whole piece is a brilliant combination of humor and perceptive media analysis. This clip can be saved and replayed for both its entertainment value and its uncompromising honesty and insight.

BLACKOUT: This is How Fox News Intentionally Keeps Its Viewers Stupid

There have been innumerable examples of Fox News airing false reports in an effort to misinform their viewers. A recent example just within the past week alleged that President Obama recruited British spies to conduct surveillance on Donald Trump’s campaign. Fox’s senior judicial analyst, Andrew Napolitian, made the claim without any supporting evidence. The network’s news division later refuted the report and put Napolitano on an indefinite leave. But that was after the story had been disseminated worldwide, creating an international incident. Even Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer (Fibby Spice) cited the fake news during a White House press briefing.

Go Fox Yourself

However, another way of shaping an ignorant electorate is to refrain from covering important events. The choice of what not to cover is just as significant as what to cover. And on Tuesday Fox News demonstrated their determination to deny their audience information that is unarguably newsworthy.

The House Intelligence Committee’s hearings on Russia’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election were broadcast live by most news networks. Testimony by FBI Director James Comey revealed for the first time that the FBI was investigating Trump and his associates. The proceedings were unusually compelling for a congressional hearing. And the proof of that came when Fox News decided to cease coverage of the hearings to host a panel of right-wing talking heads instead.

Fox was the only network that interrupted the live broadcast. And by doing so they deprived their viewers of first hand knowledge of what was happening at the hearings. What’s worse is that they replaced the hearings with conservative pundits providing a blatantly biased analysis. It was a deliberate programming strategy designed to advance the messaging of an embattled White House.

Unfortunately for Fox News, it may not have worked this time. Ratings for the cable news networks show that when Fox cut away from the hearings they lost about 29 percent of their audience. That’s a massive shift by viewers who were obviously disappointed by Fox’s programming decision. What’s more, viewers were plainly following the hearings to other channels. The ratings for CNN and MSNBC both spiked after Fox cut away.

This tells us that the American people are acutely interested in this matter. They want to know more about the potentially treasonous activities of their president. By suppressing that information Fox succeeded only in alienating their audience and further eroding their credibility. Plus, they probably don’t want to send their viewers off to competing networks.

The Trump administration has brought newfound prosperity to liberal programming. The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC has toppled Fox from its perch atop the ratings hill. She has won her time period for the past two weeks straight. Saturday Night Live, despite Trump’s insulting tweets (or because of them) has seen its best ratings in years. Stephen Colbert’s Late Show is now leading his late night talk show competition.

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

All of this suggests that Americans are hungry for honest reporting. They are tired of Fox’s propaganda and the phony “balance” sought by CNN and other conventional news outlets. They want the press to be skeptical when appropriate and aggressive when necessary. They know there’s something amiss in the Trump White House and they don’t want it papered over. And they are not going to sit still when a network like Fox decides that they don’t need to know what’s really going on. Fox News needs to adjust a new viewer mantra: We have remotes, and we’re prepared to use them.