How Far Has Fox News Crawled Up Trump’s A$$? They’re Praising Trump’s Deal With Democrats

For anyone who’s still wondering whether or not Fox News is a brazen propaganda outfit devoted to propping up Donald Trump, you can put your doubts to rest. On Thursday morning they demonstrated that they will go to any lengths to praise Dear Leader. Even when he’s violated their most precious principles.

Fox News Trump

The subject of Trump’s agreement on legislation to raise the debt limit and fund relief for Hurricane Harvey came up on Fox and Friends. Republicans were anticipating a bill that would put off further debt limit matters until after next year’s congressional election. Democrats sought a much shorter, three month period. Surprisingly, Trump sided with the Democrats. Some pundits surmised that this was evidence of Trump embracing bipartisanship. But it’s more likely that he was just punishing Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan for their recent failures to advance his agenda.

However, it’s the reaction by the hosts of his favorite TV show that is truly a revelation. There was a time when Fox News could be depended on to push whatever Republican scheme was being peddled. The network’s loyalty was to party over personality. That appears to be a thing of the past. With the election of Donald Trump the Fox News mission seems to have shifted somewhat. They are now committed to the cult of the alleged personality of Trump. The blathering of the Fox and Friends crew made that abundantly clear (video below):

Steve Doocy: The president, not wanting a fight, apparently said, “That’s the deal I’m going to take right now because we’ve got tax reform and other stuff we have got to do right now.”

Ainsley Earhardt: Good for him. He’s doing this for the folks that are affected by [Hurricane] Harvey.

Two things to note here. First, they suddenly think it’s laudatory that Trump is backing down from a fight. Prior to this cave in, they specifically admired his pugilistic tendencies and called everyone else snowflakes. Secondly, the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts were going to be getting these funds regardless. That was not in contention. And then they continued:

Pete Hegseth: Well some conservatives are upset … Big time. But you know what? This is a clear shot at Mitch McConnell and [Paul Ryan: “Hey guys, if you can’t get things done, then, listen, I’ll go work with the Democrats” […]

Hegseth: I think it’s very strategic from this president. Clear out the underbrush of the stuff that could be contentious, that Washington likes to fight about, so you can clear the deck to fight for the stuff that really matters. […]

Earhardt: Isn’t it refreshing to see them work together though? … isn’t that the art of the deal? Isn’t that what they do?

Doocy: It’s the art of the Dems.

“The stuff that really matters?” Apparently they don’t think that hurricane victims, or the full faith and credit of the United States, really matter. Because they just want to get that out of the way. But they are conceding that working with Democrats is the right thing to do. Previously they would have gone into hysterics at the thought of it. They would have branded anyone Republican who did so a RINO (“Republican in Name Only”), and called for his defeat. And don’t even ask what they mean by “art of the Dems.” They probably just thought it sounded cute.

So is this a pivot toward bipartisan cooperation in Congress? Or is it unvarnished idolatry of their presidential messiah? Considering that they still oppose everything that Democrats stand for, it’s hard to see peace breaking out on Capital Hill. Trump, Republicans, and Fox News, still want to kill ObamaCare. They still want to cut taxes for the wealthy. Their commitment to building a border wall is still rock solid (even if the wall/fence isn’t). They remain convinced that climate change is a hoax. They’re almost giddy about deporting DREAMers.

Consequently, the only conclusion is that Fox News is taking this position because it’s the one that Trump has taken. And they don’t want to to seen as disagreeing with Hair Drumpf. Which means that Fox News is determined to be steadfastly faithful to their Chief Oval Officer. And regardless of what diversions he takes from doctrinaire conservatism, they will blindly follow. That’s a recipe for totalitarian disaster.

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

Kellyanne Conway on Fox News Complains That the Media Isn’t ‘Afraid Enough’ of Donald Trump

The Queen of Alternative Facts, Kellyanne Conway, has been absent from the public eye for a while. But now she has returned to make an appearance on Fox News (of course). And she didn’t disappoint in the delivery of her unique brand of shilling for her boss, Donald Trump.

Kellyanne Conway

Conway was interviewed on Trump’s favorite TV show Fox and Friends (video below). The President has called it “the most honest show on television.” And it’s clear as to why he holds that opinion. They will lie relentlessly for him no matter the subject. And it’s why White House spokespersons appear almost exclusively on Fox News. They know they can get away with saying anything and not be subject to any challenge or criticism. For instance, Conway started right out of the gate slamming the media:

“There’s a huge disconnect between what the media are telling Americans what is important to them and what Americans are telling your pollsters and their pollsters and all of us what is important to them.”

That makes literally zero sense. What the media is telling Americans about what is important comes directly from the the pollsters. And virtually every poll shows Trump floundering personally, and his agenda in tatters. Undeterred, Conway continues:

“I think the media are obsessed with style. I saw a poll this morning. Forty-seven percent of Americans say the media are trying to impede the President’s progress on the agenda as opposed to just report the facts. And Gerry Baker at the Wall Street Journal just yesterday came out and said ‘Listen, you’ve gotta cover this as reporters. This has become opinion commentary disguised at reporting.’ Particularly when the President mentions the media.”

First of all, the poll Conway is referring to is by Rasmussen Reports, an unabashedly biased firm that spins everything to the far right. Secondly, Conway citing the editor-in-chief of Rupert Murdoch’s flagship newspaper as a source of factual reporting is ludicrous. Especially because the quote she highlighted came from an email that has angered the Journal’s staff. Some were so upset that they turned to CNN to vent their frustration:

“At the time, some staffers told CNNMoney they believed that Baker was going out of his way to be deferential to Trump in order to maintain access to the White House and proximity to power. Staffers also chafe at Baker’s insistence on conducting the interviews with Trump himself, rather than letting the paper’s journalists take the lead.”

When reporters at a conservative paper accuse their editorial peers of being “deferential to Trump” you have a real problem. Many have them long demonstrated such deference, but apparently this editor has gone too far, even for the Journal. And they are also disturbed by his habit of usurping their duties when it comes to presidential interviews.

But Conway was only beginning to hit her stride. Answering a question that didn’t involve the media, Conway found a way to resume her attack on the free press. Co-host Steve Doocy’s raised the comments of former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, with regard to Trump’s mental stability. On CNN Clapper described Trump’s condition as “downright scary and disturbing.” And he asked how much longer the country would have to “endure this nightmare.” And Conway replied (skip to 7:50 in the video):

Doocy: A couple nights ago on television, [Clapper] said he wondered whether or not the president was fit to be president, fit to serve. If James Clapper is watching right now, what’s your message to him?

Conway: It’s such an absurd analysis, playing armchair psychiatrist. It’s not just him. It’s a lot of people on TV.

I’m old enough to remember when news stations reported the news and didn’t just have a parade of pundits going out there and opinionating and rendering their opinions and pontificating and conjecturing. And I think it leads to analysis like this, because people end up with very little to say. They are not compelled. They are not forced. Nobody demands that they actually report facts and figures. This is way over the line. You know, the media and other opinion figures, they were way too afraid of President Obama and his administration. They’re not afraid enough here.

It’s jaw-droppingly hysterical that Conway is complaining about pundits “opinionating” to the propagandists at Fox News. The “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends trail only Sean Hannity as Fox’s premiere Trump-fluffers.

More importantly, Conway is actually advocating for some kind of government control of the press. Her notion that journalists should be “forced” to report her alternative facts is contrary to the tenets of the Constitution. She and her White House cohorts are not the arbiters of what is real or fake news. And if America wants state-sponsored reporting, they already have Fox News.

Furthermore, the media should never be afraid of any president, and no president should deliberately intimidate the press. But that’s exactly what Trump has been doing. He is not merely offering criticism. His childish taunts that reporters are sick, dishonest, and bad people who hate America, amounts to overt threats. They could easily lead to violence against journalists who are just doing their job.

When Trump called the media “the enemy of the American people,” he effectively gave permission to his crackpot disciples to take the necessary action to defend the country from its “enemies.” Hopefully Conway and Trump will not get their wish to make the media afraid of Trump. And hopefully nobody gets hurt.

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

LOCK ‘EM UP: Fox News Leaks Classified Info Based on Anonymous Sources – Trump Retweets

The White House recently embarked on a campaign to flush out the throngs of leakers in their midst. Attorney General Jeff Sessions held a press briefing to announce that anyone caught leaking would face stiff consequences. So it’s interesting that this warning is already being ignored by a surprising offender.

Fox News Donald Trump

On Donald Trump’s favorite TV show, Fox and Friends, co-host Steve Doocy interviewed U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. In the course of their conversion Doocy let slip some information he obtained from a story on Fox News. The story revealed that U.S. satellites had detected North Korea loading anti-ship cruise missiles on a patrol boat. That, apparently, was not information approved for public dissemination. And Haley let Doocy know that in no uncertain terms (video below):

DOOCY: Ambassador, on the front page of foxnews.com right now there is a story that apparently the intel community has picked up anti-ship cruise missiles were being loaded onto a patrol boat or patrol boats in North Korea. What can you tell us about that?
HALEY: I can’t.
DOOCY: Why?
HALEY: I can’t talk about anything that’s classified. And if that’s in the newspaper that’s a shame. But –
DOOCY: You have no reason to believe that’s not accurate though?
HALEY: I have no reason to comment on it.
DOOCY: (Laughing) OK.
AINSLEY EARHARDT: That shouldn’t be in the newspaper? Is that another leak I guess?
HALEY: You know, it’s one of these things, I don’t know what’s going on. But, I will tell you it’s incredibly dangerous when things get out into the press like that. You are not only just getting a scoop on something, you are playing with people’s lives. And this has got to stop. Whatever the leaks are coming from, if somebody thinks they are getting power or fame from it, all you are doing is putting Americans in danger.

Haley was adamant in her first response that she could not answer Doocy’s questions. But that didn’t stop him from pressing her further. She reiterated her intention to refrain from commenting. Doocy thought that was funny. Haley had to school him on the serious nature of the data he was pushing her to reveal.

As if it weren’t bad enough that Fox News was disclosing classified information, there was another culprit with loose fingertips. Trump, as usual, was watching Fox and Friends this morning. He retweeted three separate stories that he had seen on the broadcast. One of them was the story about North Korea with the classified data. So Trump was participating in the leaking of information that his own U.N. ambassador warned was “incredibly dangerous,” and “playing with people’s lives.” What’s more, he was propagating info obtained from anonymous sources. Recall, Trump’s position on the use of sources who are not identified in news reports:

It is endlessly perplexing that Trump still gets his intelligence data from Fox News. Apparently he is unaware of the resources he has at his disposal within the government he allegedly manages. Had he contacted his National Security Advisor or the CIA, he might have been cautioned as to the sensitive nature of the data he was about to publish. But that’s too much to ask this notoriously ignorant and reckless so-called president.

The only question now is whether the Department of Justice will follow through on their threat to prosecute anyone found to be leaking. This past weekend, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appeared on Fox News Sunday. He told Chris Wallace that he would prosecute whoever was discovered to be violating the law. He specifically that included members of Congress and the White House. In this case, Donald Trump is unambiguously guilty. And this is not the first time that Trump has breached this legal directive. If the DoJ expects to be taken seriously they need to investigate Trump’s leaks and prosecute if warranted. Otherwise, they will have no credibility to prosecute any other alleged leakers.

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

Fox News Calls for Trump Dictatorship and More Suffering After ObamaCare Repeal Fails

Late Thursday night the Republican effort to kill ObamaCare met its demise – for the time being. Despite having the majority, the GOP-run Senate couldn’t pass their last ditch scheme to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It’s a dream they’ve salivated over for seven years without doing anything about it. Now their incompetence and callous disregard for people’s well-being has been dealt a well-deserved loss. The vote was 49-51, with Republicans Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and John McCain joining all the Democrats.

Fox News Donald Trump

True to form, Fox News went into a total meltdown following the vote. They appeared on the verge of a severe depressive episode. Immediately after the vote Fox News aired the crestfallen remarks of a gloomy Sen. Mitch McConnell in full. Next to speak on the Senate floor was Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. But Fox didn’t air any of his speech. Instead they cut to a phone-in analysis from daytime anchor Bret Baier. The woman anchoring last night interjected that “It’s a sad day for America.” Fair and balanced.

Perhaps the most repulsive reaction to the GOP’s aborted repeal came from Jesse Watters, co-host of The Five. In a post-vote rant Watters had the audacity to advocate for a Trump tyranny:

“A lot of people wish President Trump was a dictator, maybe we could repeal Obamacare. It would be a lot easier that way.”

He’s right. A lot of people do wish that Trump was a dictator. Starting with Donald Trump. Then add most of the people on Fox News, Trump’s most stalwart fans among the white supremacist community, and the dimwits who still support him after his treasonous betrayal of the country to Russia’s dictator, Vladimir Putin. Fascist minds think alike.

Watters’ reckless comments are emblematic of the dangers that an authoritarian, megalomaniac like Trump represent. The fact that he can get crackpots on Fox News to openly advocate for his elevation to dictator is frightening. But Watters wasn’t alone in making appallingly stupid comments in the hours of grief for Fox. His colleagues at Fox and Friends chimed in with idiotic outbursts of their own. Steve Doocy, always the cock-eyed optimist, found something positive to console the loser President. Doocy said the repeal failure was “good news” for Trump because “It’s gonna continue to be ObamaCare and people who have been suffering will continue.”

Well, isn’t that good news? Republicans like nothing better than seeing people suffer. Trump obviously agrees because he tweeted again his intention to “let ObamaCare implode.” That, of course, would produce unconscionable and unnecessary suffering for millions of Americans. And Trump is doing it on purpose. In fact, he is deliberately sabotaging healthcare for millions. Doocy even admitted that Trump “wants [Obamacare] to fail.” He’s rooting for pain and sickness rather than for the people he’s sworn to protect and defend.

Finally, Brian Kilmeade demonstrated the ignorance that is rampant on Fox News. While complaining about the loss in the Senate, Kilmeade sarcastically congratulated the Democrats who prevailed. In a boneheaded snark he said “Congratulations. The healthy people are paying for the sick people.” You don’t say? What Kilemeade has just done is define in very literal terms exactly what health insurance is. In fact, it’s exactly what all insurance is. But he’s casting it in a negative light as if it should be repudiated.

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

And with that Kilmeade has also demonstrated the pitiful stupidity of Fox News that infects and warps the brains of their glassy-eyed viewers. That’s why it’s so hard to have a rational debate with any of them. They are damaged beyond repair, and they cling to the defects and the lies they are fed by Fox. Fox News has led America into an era that cheers a President who says that he “loves the poorly educated.” Of course he does. No one else would believe his bull. That’s why he is destroying the Department of Education from within. And he’s lucky to have Fox News to make sure there are as many poorly educated Americans as possible.

Fox and Friends Lies About New York Times Calling Them ‘The Most Powerful TV Show in America’

Another morning, another flurry of dishonest reporting by Fox News and their “Curvy Couch” potatoes at Fox and Friends. While pretending to read the newspapers spread out on the coffee table, co-host Steve Doocy made a fake discovery. He held the paper so that the cameras got a good look at an advertisement on the back page. What viewers saw was a full page ad touting Fox and Friends.

Fox News Steve Doocy

The ad was obviously paid for by Fox News to promote the network and the program. It featured a quote attributed to the New York Times saying that Fox and Friends is “the most powerful TV show in America.” Doocy’s faux surprise was echoed by his co-hosts Ainsley Earhardt and Brian Kilmeade. They were pretending to be excited by the praise from an unexpected source:

Doocy: This program, the program you’re watching, according to the New York Times, is the most powerful TV show in America.
Earhardt: You know why Steve? Because we have the best viewers.

Earhardt would have been more correct if she had said “because we have the best viewer.” Because the only person in their audience that they play to is Donald Trump. That point was confirmed when that viewer proudly tweeted the same message Doocy was boasting about:

There’s just one problem. The Fox News crew horribly mangled what the New York Times was saying in their article. Calling the relationship between Fox and Friends and Trump a “Two Way Mirror,” the Times analyzed the perverse relationship between the TV program and the President. The full quote from the Times said:

“Suddenly, for no other reason than its No. 1 fan, it is the most powerful TV show in America,”

In context, the Times was criticizing both Trump and Fox for clinging to one another in a mockery of journalism. They went on to portray Fox’s posture toward Trump as a “Romper Room-style” broadcast intended to flatter our ego-obsessed, narcissistic president:

“President Trump is the show’s subject, its programmer, its publicist and its virtual fourth host. The stars offer him flattery, encouragement and advice. When he tweets, his words and image appear on a giant video wall. It’s the illusion of children’s TV — that your favorite show is as aware of you as you are of it — except that for Mr. Trump, it’s real.”

That’s an entirely different characterization than the one of pride that Doocy and company presented. And let’s not forget that Fox News paid for these ads. It’s an advertising campaign that deliberately distorts the quote they featured in the ad. And it’s further evidence of their aversion to ethics and truth. The author of the Times’ article, James Poniewozik, tweeted his own somewhat snarky thoughts about this saying that he was, “Excited to see @realDonaldTrump endorse my thesis that F&F’s weird childlike sway over him makes it hugely powerful! Thanks, POTUS!”

What’s more, why does Trump and Fox and Friends care what the New York Times has to say about them? Don’t they consider it fake news? In which case, Fox and Friends is not the most powerful TV show in America. And there is something peculiar about Fox News buying ad space in the Times. Trump has appended the word “failing” to every mention he makes of the paper. Fox News has adopted the same juvenile (and false) habit. But with this campaign they are helping the Times to be even more financially successful.

The Times’ article closed by noting that Fox and Friends has a unique mission with regard to Trump. They describe him as “the superfan in the White House who sees it as ‘Fox & Friend’ — singular.” That has been borne out by the numerous times that Trump has watched the show and, shortly after, tweeted what he saw. He has also promoted the program in dozens of tweets that amount to free publicity from the White House. The value of those tweet-vertisements has been put as high $5 million. So there is clearly a parasitical relationship between Fox News and Trump that benefits both. And we can expect that, and the lies, to continue for the foreseeable, lamentable future.

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

Fox News ‘Update’ of a False Story Smearing the New York Times, Just an Excuse to Re-Air It

The frequency of mistakes, gaffes, and outright lies that are broadcast daily on Fox News would be challenging to correct. If, that is, they ever cared to. On the rare occasions when they issue a correction, it is often halfhearted and buried in justifications. Their corrections seem to function more as vindications than apologies.

Fox News Steve Doocy

A perfect example of this occurred Monday morning on Fox and Friends. Co-host Steve Doocy looked sheepishly into the camera to address a segment from Saturday’s program. The segment featured Gen. Tony Thomas making a startling accusation that the New York Times was responsible for allowing a terrorist leader to escape. He said that the Army had a good lead on Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. “Unfortunately,” Thomas said, “it was leaked in a prominent national newspaper about a week later and that lead went dead.” Fox weekend host Pete Hegseth elaborated to charge that Baghdadi would’ve been captured if not for the Times. Of course, there’s no way he could know that.

More to the point, the claim by Thomas was not accurate. The Times responded in detail, pointing out that their original story contained only information that had been previously published elsewhere. What’s more, the Times had cleared their story with the Pentagon who had no objections to publishing it. Nor were there any objections made after it was published, which was two years ago. So the day after Fox’s erroneous report, the Times sent a letter to Fox News requesting an on-air retraction and apology. It said in part:

“Neither the staff at Fox & Friends, nor the writers of a related story on Foxnews.com, appeared to make any attempt to confirm the relevant facts, nor did they reach out to the New York Times for comment. We understand that the segment and story are based on a misleading assertion by Gen. Thomas speaking at a conference in Aspen. However, that does not alleviate Fox News of the obligation to seek information from all the stakeholders in a story. With this segment, Fox & Friends has demonstrated what little regard it has for reporting facts.”

The statement made by Doocy, however, hardly satisfied the request by the Times. He neither apologized, nor conceded that a correction was in order. Doocy described his remarks as “an update,” and then replayed the false comments by Gen. Thomas in full. Finally, Doocy told viewers they could read the Times’ full response on the Fox website, but didn’t provide a URL.

So Fox News exploited the opportunity to correct the record by further distorting it. Their audience got to see the General’s false comments again, but were not told they were false. Fox News never gave a full accounting of the story’s factual flaws, or provided the evidence supplied by the Times. In effect they said “Here’s what we said before, and if you want to know what the Times said, go look it up yourself.”

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

Naturally, Fox’s biggest fan, Donald Trump, was watching when the story was first broadcast. Within half an hour he had tweeted the fake news to his Twitter followers. Two days later his tweet is still online with no comment or correction. That’s typical of Trump, who has even less regard for the truth than his primary source, Fox News.

Dumbfu*ks at Fox News Want to Know: What’s a Bigger Threat to America: Fake News or Russia?

The fair and balanced couch dwellers at Fox and Friends are suddenly very concerned about threats to America. Not the ones posed by hostile foreign adversaries disrupting our elections and hacking our politicians and candidates. Nor the ones saber-rattling about war with a crackpot dictator in North Korea. And certainly not the one that puts the entire planet at risk of becoming uninhabitable.

Fox News Dennis Prager

Nope. What Fox News is worried about is whether what they call “fake news” has surpassed Vladimir Putin’s Russia as an imminent threat to the United States. Bear in mind that the issue that’s throwing Fox News into a tizzy is actually real news reporting of Donald Trump and his crime family’s collusion with Russia. But just the suggestion that Trump is anything less than divinely pure qualifies as fakery to Fox.

In Monday morning’s episode of Fox and Friends, host Steve Doocy introduced a segment with sanctimonious radio talker Dennis Prager. He pretends to be a paragon of virtue and mentor to all of us inferior heathens. Prager tweeted his opinion that the media is America’s preeminent enemy.

And that led to Fox’s featured segment on the subject (video below):

Doocy: What’s a bigger threat to America: Fake news or Russia?

Prager: This may sound odd to you and many of the viewers. I don’t understand why this tweet is controversial. Putin does not threaten Western civilization. Western civilization is a set of ideas and values. When students remove the American flag from their campuses, that’s not Putin. All of the things happening in the West to undo Western civilization have nothing to do with Putin. The only thing I regret about the tweet is that I didn’t write that the universities and the media in the West are a greater threat to Western civilization.

I have to agree with Prager’s first point. It definitely sounds odd. Prager is making some sort of vague differentiation between Western civilization and the government and political institutions that uphold it. His babbling about our ideas and values being separate from Putin’s election tampering is pure gibberish. And yet he thinks that a cloth flag is a more tangible part of what makes America than democracy.

Prager went on to complain that “Half of American millennials think socialism is preferable to capitalism. That’s a result of the media and the universities.” It’s also the result of critical thinking and independent analysis. For one thing, socialism and capitalism are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the United States is a working example of a hybrid of the two concepts. Social Security and public education have not hampered the economic success of Ford, Starbucks, or Amazon.

Finally, Prager whined that “The media have gone from news media to opinion media in the guise of news. That is extremely dangerous.” I can’t argue with that. But the irony is that he said it on Fox News – the indisputable champion of blatantly biased pseudo-journalism. Fox News practically invented the modern practice of opinion media. And, in closing, I’ll agree with Prager again. Fox News is extremely dangerous.

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

Fox News Issues Rare Story Correction – Trump, Who Retweeted It, Does Not

You have to cut Fox News a little slack. If they made public corrections for every mistake, or outright lie, they’d have no time left for any new lies. Consequently, when they do offer a correction it’s deserves some attention, if not appreciation.

Fox News

This rare mea culpa occurred Tuesday morning on Fox and Friends (video below). Steve Doocy took a moment to address some comments made on the program the day before. They were discussing a report by The Hill that provided some details on memos written by former FBI director James Comey about his meetings with Donald Trump. The report stated that some of the memos were retroactively designated as confidential or secret. But Fox and Friends completely misrepresented the story. Correspondent Jillian Mele described it as:

“[A] brand new bombshell report [that] accuses Comey of putting our national security at risk. According to The Hill, the former FBI director’s personal memos detailing private conversations with President Trump contained “Top Secret” information.”

The truth is that none of the memos were “Top Secret.” As noted above, some were classified at lower levels. But nowhere in the story did it say that any of the classified data was made public. Therefore, there was no security risk. On Tuesday morning, Doocy made this wholly inadequate correction on the air:

“Yesterday on this program, we aired and tweeted this story saying former FBI Director James Comey leaked memos containing top secret information. We were mistaken in that. According to the report, half of the memos contain information classified at the secret or confidential, not top-secret, level. Markings of the documents in which Mr. Comey leaked are, at this point, unclear. Just wanted to straighten that out.”

First of all, Comey didn’t “leak” anything. That’s a deliberately incendiary and overtly biased term. Comey merely made his own personal recollections to public. That’s something that is done in every political memoir ever published.

Secondly, there is confirmation from the Columbia professor who gave the memos to the press that nothing classified was revealed. So Doocy’s attempt to falsely inject malfeasance into the story is just plain dishonest. Clearly, he had no intention of straightening anything out.

While Doocy’s remarks only partially corrected the record, there’s another deceiver who hasn’t even gone that far. Donald Trump retweeted the phony segment from Fox News. And his added commentary made it even worse, saying “Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media. That is so illegal!” Trump tweeted that unfounded opinion just minutes after it was conveniently broadcast on Fox News for him. However, while Fox has backtracked, Trump has not. His reckless accusation still remains on his Twitter feed unaltered or updated.

Trump is hopelessly addicted to the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. He watches them obsessively and frequently tweets what they say in real time. Yesterday he posted four segments from the program on Twitter, Today he added three more. And yet, when it is abundantly clear that the information is wrong, he stands by it with unwavering faith. Even when they admit they are wrong. That says a lot about our thin-skinned, ego-driven, bull-headed president, doesn’t it?

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.

Thank You Fox News: Trump Thanks Fox And Friends For Making Him President (No, REALLY!)

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a month of the embarrassment that Donald Trump has inflicted on America. With all of the fumbling, lying, and childish insults, it seems like a year. Now, as he prepares to give his first address to a joint session of Congress, Trump took a moment to show his appreciation for those responsible for his ascendancy to the seat of power.

Donald Trump Fox News

In an interview with Fox & Friends, Trump courageously faced the notorious suck ups on the curvy couch. The inquisition began with the hard-nosed Steve Doocy introducing Trump by saying:

“Mr. President, thank you very much for the invitation. And, by the way, thank you very much for the shout-out you gave at your press conference about ten days ago.”

Doocy was referring to Trump’s praise of Fox & Friends during a press conference on February 16. In response to a question about leaks and fake news, Trump wondered completely off topic. Instead of answering the question, he ranted about the “hatred and venom” coming from Don Lemon at CNN. In the process he also slobbered all over Fox & Friends saying that:

“Fox & Friends in the morning, they’re very honorable people […] they have the most honest morning show.”

Of course they do. They spend three hours a day fluffing The Donald’s ego and inventing scandals about his critics and opponents. And don’t think that the President hasn’t noticed. He expressed his gratitude to his “Friends” and let them know exactly how much they meant to him:

“You have treated me very fairly. And I’ve been a friend of your show for a long time. Remember those call-ins, right? Maybe without those call-ins, someone else is sitting here.”

Indeed. Trump had a regular weekly segment on Fox & Friends called “Mondays with Trump.” He would phone in his incoherent opinions on whatever was the outrage of day. It surely had an impact on the Fox audience and juiced them up for his eventual candidacy. Combine that with the non-stop coverage of his stump speeches (by all the cable news networks), and their relentless defense of everything from pussy grabbing to Russian election tampering, and Fox’s designation as the PR division of The Trump Organization is irrefutable.

It’s not surprising that Trump would thank Fox News for getting him elected. He’s been haranguing the media as “fake news” and even worse, as the enemy of the American people,” for months. But he’s been careful to keep Fox out of the line of fire. In the same interview that he thanked Fox, he also said this of the media in general:

“When they make stories up, when they create sources, cause I believe that sometimes they don’t have sources, you know, the sources don’t exist, sometimes they do exist, I’m not saying all sources, but I do believe that a lot of the sources are made up. A lot of the stories are made up. I believe a lot of, the stories are pure fiction, they just pull it out of air.”

Never mind that he has no evidence of any of those accusations. Fake or nonexistent sources would be a fireable offense at any credible news organization. What’s more, he said the sources for stories about former NSA director Michael Flynn didn’t exist. But that didn’t stop him from firing Flynn based on facts revealed in those stories.

If Trump is going to assert that stories are made up, he should be required to present examples. Don’t hold your breath. His idea of fake news and honest news is warped beyond repair. That explains how he can lash out at CNN for telling the truth, but praise Fox & Friends as honest.

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