Fox and Friends Makes a Damn Good Argument to Vote for Democrats – No, Really!

The pressure is on at the White House as evidence incriminating Donald Trump continues to pile up. The impeachment inquiry is entering a new, more public phase that is exposing facts that are unarguably tying Trump and his cohorts to unlawful activities. And it’s causing him to lash out in ever more incoherent ways. Even his support among Republicans has begun a disastrous freefall.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Strange

Of course, whatever affects Trump also has a symbiotic reaction at the Fox News Channel, the network whose mission is to protect and defend Trump and the conservative wackosphere from all enemies, foreign and domesticated. But the weight of the pressure currently being applied by Congress and the Constitution may be overwhelming Fox’s capacity to respond as programmed. This is creating some bizarre departures from their expected behaviors.

On Wednesday morning, the day after Trump’s Republican Nationalist Party suffered severe electoral defeats in Kentucky and Virginia, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends engaged in an exchange that began uneventfully with a typically pro-GOP tirade by Ainsley Earhardt. However, it quickly veered off into something that was uncharacteristically (gasp) liberal! It went something like this (video below):

Earhardt: I don’t understand how that message … how she [Elizabeth Warren] is doing so well with that message. That message is saying “You have more than I do. I’m jealous of yours. I wanna take some of what you have.”
Steve Doocy: But if you don’t have anything, that’s a very potent message, believe me.
Earhardt: But that’s not the American way. The American way is to work your tail off. Keep working. Say yes, say yes. Work weekends, work nights, work your way to the top.
Doocy: I get that. But if you have worked really hard and you still don’t have anything … I mean, I’ve been to the Bernie Sanders rallies where there are a lot of people who need help. You know, they didn’t have health care. They have problems with college tuition. And things like that. So for the Democratic message … “Look, you don’t have anything. The government is going to make sure that the most successful people pay extra so you can get a hand up.” That is very powerful. That’s why you look at the number of people with that point of view, you add up all the people that support that, it’s a big number.

WOW! Doocy gave a pretty good summation of Democratic principles that favor providing for the basic needs of all Americans. He seemed to recognized the appeal of programs that insure that no American goes hungry, or is unable to get medical care, or is burdened by undue debts for education, in the richest nation in the world. He even acknowledged that those benefiting from such programs do work hard and are not shiftless layabouts seeking to take advantage of the system.

The people Doocy is talking about are indeed a large group. And their numbers grow exponentially by adding their families, friends, and other compassionate citizens, who care about the less fortunate among us. They are also many of the same people that Trump tries to attract. He calls them the “forgotten Americans,” and they populate his cult rallies. However, the difference between the Democratic solutions and Trump’s is that Democrats think the wealthy should pay more to fill the gap, as Doocy noted, Meanwhile, Trump and the GOP think the wealthy should pay less (in taxes), and the poor should pay more, by giving up benefits like food stamps, housing assistance, college loan aid, and access to health care.

To be sure, whatever caused that glitch in the Fox News system that resulted in them going haywire with concern for others, it will be temporary. Rest assured that there are already people huddling in the executive suites plotting how to correct the malfunction. But in the meantime it was interesting to hear a perspective on the network that wasn’t dripping with rancor, racism, and animosity toward Americans who need a little bit of help from time to time. So enjoy it while it lasts, but don’t get used to it.

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

Lacking Any Coherent Impeachment Defense, Trump Deploys An All Fox News Blitzkrieg

On Wednesday morning Donald Trump released the transcript White House provided, non-verbatim memo of his July phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. It was somewhat anticlimactic considering that he had already admitted that he pressured Ukraine to smear Biden, and even declared Biden “corrupt” and subject to the electric chair. Still, he has been saying for days that the call was “perfect,” that he had done nothing wrong, and promised that it would exonerate him. What the hell was he thinking!

Donald Trump, Phone, Pacifier

Keeping in mind that several days prior to this phone call, Trump had frozen nearly $400 million dollars in military aid to Ukraine, who were engaged in a conflict with Russian troops on their eastern border. With that as context for Trump’s remarks, here are some relevant and incriminating parts of the memo (full document below):

“I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. […] I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance.”

“Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it. […] I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great.”

“The other thing, There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”

So Trump starts out by asking for “a favor.” That’s precisely how Godfather Don Corleone began his conversations with shakedown victims when he made them “an offer you can’t refuse.” Zelensky knew that the aid his country needs was at risk. This is as close to a quid pro quo as is ever encountered in organized crime. And having that followed up by a request to meet with Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and his Attorney General, William Barr – which is a new and troubling revelation – only makes Trump’s clearly unlawful intentions more clear.

The fact that Trump bothered to malign special counsel Robert Mueller is another indication that he is tying this call to his own political tribulations. And directly warning Zelensky that “it’s very important that you do … whatever you can do,” is hardly a subtle nudge. Trump then brings up the Ukrainian prosecutor who he calls “very good” despite being held in disrepute by the U.S. government, the European Union, the World Bank, and other international institutions.

Trump then got to the real point when he brought up Joe Biden and made the objectively false statement that he “stopped the prosecution” of Biden’s son. In fact, the corrupt prosecutor wasn’t even actively pursuing the case. And every investigation into the matter found zero evidence of any wrongdoing by Biden. Nevertheless, Trump pressed this issue repeatedly in the phone call and kept pressing for a meeting with Giuliani and Barr.

If this is Trump’s idea of an exculpatory document, you have to wonder what he considers incriminating. Trump is seen here explicitly abusing his power by recruiting a foreign leader to interfere with an American election. And he is using funds allocated by Congress to extort the illegal results he wants. There is no defense for this criminal behavior. Trump couldn’t even provide one, so he claimed on Wednesday that it should all be ignored because the stock market went up. Really? For the record, the market today is stagnant at best. It’s exactly where it was in January of 2018, a year and a half ago. Trump is also arguing his innocence based on his leading poll numbers. Except that he’s losing to every top Democrat. In fact, a Fox News poll saying just that was released a week before Trump called Zelensky. Coincidence?

Then Trump turned to his goto protectors at Fox News to vainly try to spin this in his favor. He posted (so far) twelve (12!) tweets of Trump-fluffing sycophants that contained no factual refutation of the damning contents of the White House summary phone call. They included:

  • Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway writing that the whistleblower’s attorney worked for Hillary Clinton and “Schuck” Schumer. That was for short internships nearly twenty years ago.
  • Fox host Mark Levin asserting that the is media trying to protect Biden.
  • Sean Hannity interviewing Attorney Joe DiGenova, whose reputation was so bad that he couldn’t be added to Trump’s staff.
  • Tucker Carlson interviewing Jenna Ellis, a member of the Trump 2020 Advisory Board.
  • Sean Hannity interviewing GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, a sellout who once called Trump an idiot and a liar, but who now kowtows to him in the most embarrassing fashion.
  • Lou Dobbs interviewing Harmeet Dhillon from the Republican National Lawyers Association.
  • Sean Hannity (again), this time with Kevin McCarthy, House Republican Leader.
  • Lou Dobbs and Jeanine Pirro, another Fox News host and shameless Trump-fluffer.
  • Yet another Hannity reference saying that the whistleblower has a political bias.
  • Fox and Friends asserting that “Democrats have been talking about Impeaching Donald Trump since before he was inaugurated. @SteveDoocy @foxandfriends”
  • Fox host Bret Baier saying that “You don’t see a direct quid pro quo in this.”
  • Fox’s White House correspondent, John Roberts, saying that there was no quid pro quo in the memo.

Someone who has a good argument for innocence wouldn’t have to resort to a cadre of notoriously biased pundits and Fox News propagandists for legal help. But this is Trump’s whole modus operandi. Remember, his preparation for the presidency was hosting a reality TV game show for fourteen years. His entire reference to his job is tied to television and celebrity. So rather than accumulate knowledgeable defenses from intelligent, reputable people, he leans on dishonest TV personalities talking to partisan hacks. You know, people just like himself.

UPDATE: The whistleblower complaint has been declassified and released. It’s available here with a few redactions.

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

Fox News Defends Trump’s State-Sponsored Political Extortion as Just ‘The Art of the Deal’

The news that Donald Trump may have promised the president of Ukraine hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid if he would open a bogus investigation into Joe Biden has captured the attention of the press. And rightfully so. This would amount to state-sponsored extortion by Trump in order to smear a political opponent. And it wouldn’t even be the first time that Trump has conspired with a foreign country to steal an election (see: Russia, 2016).

Donald Trump, Fox News, White House

As this scandal continues to build steam, Trump is managing to get himself into even more hot water. In a press avail with the Prime Minister of Australia, Trump gave contradictory answers about what he knew about the affair. In fact, when asked if he read the report he contradicted himself in the space of a single sentence saying, “No I haven’t. I just – I tell you, everybody’s read it. They laugh at it.” He went on to attack the press, as usual, saying that “Our media has become the laughingstock of the world […] You’re a joke.” Which only proves that he is pitifully incapable of recognizing who the world is actually laughing at.

In the midst of this unfolding melodrama, Fox News is adopting their routine position as Trump-fluffing propaganda disseminators. And taking the lead is Trump’s favorite morning show, Fox and Friends. Their defense of Trump is a bizarre spectacle of ludicrous justifications for Trump’s potentially treasonous behavior (video below). Co-host Steve Doocy began by telling his dimwitted viewers to…

“Keep in mind this whistleblower filed this report with the inspector general of the Intel community on August the 12th. That was over a month ago. Then they kicked it around, sent it to the Department of Justice, and said ‘We do not have to hand it over to Congress.'”

First of all, it is entirely improper for the Justice Department to interfere in this process in any way. It negates the whole purpose of the Whistleblower Protection Act if the President’s henchmen (Attorney General William Barr, et al) can suppress information provided in good faith by insiders concerned about national security. And it endangers the welfare of the whistleblower whose identity is disclosed to people who have motive to retaliate.

That said, after having improperly interfered, the Justice Department has no authority to rule that the complaint can’t be turned over to Congress. The law says unambiguously that it “shall” be turned over. So the Justice Department is wrong, and Fox News is wrong to excuse this breach of the law. But Doocy wasn’t finished. He continued…

“The reason the whistleblower apparently said that it was ‘serious’ and ‘urgent’ is because that designation usually automatically triggers it getting to Congress. The Department of Justice says that that is not appropriate, so we don’t have to give it to the Committee. Well, somebody with knowledge of this person’s story didn’t like the fact that Congress wasn’t gonna get it and it wasn’t gonna become public. So they leaked the story to the Washington Post.”

Again, none of this is the Justice Department’s call. But Doocy is also introducing something that was never a part of this. He implies that somebody wanted this to become public. But had the complaint been turned over to Congress, they would have reviewed it privately. The only reason any of this is becoming public is because the process was breached by the administration.

It’s ironic that Fox News is more worried about this complaint leaking than the substance of the complaint which is Trump’s attempts to extort and/or bribe a foreign country and to pressure them into aiding his election fraud. But if you thought that Fox was bothered by any of that, here’s what Doocy’s co-host Ainsley Earhardt had to say about it:

“They say the President was making promises, leaking delicate information to another heads of state. But this is what they do. They talk. They negotiate. And the President’s known for that. The art of the deal. Who’s leaking this? Is it someone that works at the White House?”

So to Fox News this is standard operating procedure in negotiations. They consider it acceptable for Trump to bully foreign leaders into manufacturing political dirt on his opponents. They regard it as simple dealmaking, despite the fact that there are no components of this deal that are in the interests of the United States. It is a purely hostile swipe at Biden, who Trump expects to run against next year. So Earhardt is defending dealmaking that is only intended to disrupt an election. But then again, that’s what Fox News does every day. Disrupting elections by airing distortions and lies is the whole reason Fox News exists.

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

Fox News Shill Geraldo Rivera Confirms Trump is a Racist While Arguing that He Isn’t a Racist

The debate over whether or not Donald Trump is a racist has been over for months, years really. The evidence is in his frequent and virulent hate speech, as well as his policies that are deliberately aimed at disadvantaging people of color. And the fact that he is supported by the nation’s most prominent white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups is further proof of his embrace of bigotry.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Hate Again

Most people upon discovering that KKK leaders are praising them would stop and reflect on what they did or said to attract such loathsome admirers. But not Trump. He actually panders to them and refuses to make any outright criticisms. He invites them to the White House and recycles overtly racist tropes that history has condemned. He even told women of color – who happen to be members of Congress and U.S. citizens – to go back you came from.”

Notwithstanding all of these facts, Fox News continues to pretend that there is nothing remotely racist about Trump. It’s a position that mimics the worshipful fawning of state run media in Russia, North Korea and other totalitarian regimes. And on Trump’s favorite Fox News morning show, Fox and Friends, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes earned their pay by ignoring the truth about Trump and slobbering over Dear Leader’s bottomless capacity for universal love.

Aside from the helpful montage of Democrats correctly pointing out that Trump is a racist, this clip features Steve Doocy wondering why they weren’t asked “What do you mean? What are you referring to?” The fact that he even bothers to ask that question demonstrates just how blind he is to reality, or more accurately, how blind they want their views to be. For the record, Doocy’s question has been answered many times, and this compilation from Vox serves as a convenient resource.

Later in the program, long-time Trump friend and blabbering sycophant, Geraldo Rivera, showed up for another of his regular appearances and began sucking up in the first few seconds of his segment. He started off with a glassy-eyed confession that “I love the President and I’ve known him for 45 years and he is not a racist.” Geraldo then blames Trump’s troubles on “sloppy rhetoric” that “makes him vulnerable” to charges of racism. But as he continues, Geraldo himself outlines Trump’s rancid bigotry that extends far beyond rhetoric:

“When the President says ‘shathole countries,’ and NFL players who kneel are ‘sons of bitches,’ and ‘Mexicans are rapists,’ I think that he should emphasize the positive.”

See? It’s as simple as that. Just ignore the fact that you’ve viciously insulted African countries, African-American athletes, and Latinx refugees fleeing violence and poverty. Focus on imaginary “positives” that can be exploited to brainwash the dimwitted Trump cultists and viewers of Fox News. Geraldo also advised Trump that “His staff should look more like the country. It should be more diverse.” That’s not the sort of advice you give to someone who isn’t noticeably prejudiced.

It’s ironic that Geraldo’s defense of Trump contains such a useful itemization of the evidence that he is, in fact, flagrantly racist. But Geraldo wants you to dismiss all of that and be filled with the same reverential and baseless adoration of Trump that he has. And this isn’t just the position of Geraldo. It’s the same irrational mask of delusion that all Republicans and Fox News hacks wear and that they want to strap onto you. It’s just that you don’t see them tugging at the strings this openly very often.

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

Trump-Fluffing on Fox News: Hosts Promote Bed-Buggy Doral Resort for the 2020 G7

In his closing remarks at the G7 summit in France, Donald Trump managed to deliver an infomercial for his Doral Miami Golf Resort to host the next G7 summit in 2020. It was a painfully self-serving spectacle that is also a likely violation of the Constitution. At the very least it’s a predictably Trumpy exhibit of greed and an utter lack of ethics.

Fox News Friends

Not surprisingly, Fox News weighed in on the idea the following morning. On Fox and Friends the “Curvy Couch” potatoes did a segment (video below) agreeing with Trump that Doral would be the perfect place for the summit. Even though there are thousands of hotels and conference centers across America that would be ideal for such an event. It’s just a weird coincidence that the site owned by Trump happens to be the best place of all. Who would have thought?

The segment began with Steve Doocy introducing Trump’s sales pitch from France. And it was all downhill from there. Brian Kilmeade jumped in to insist that there was no favoritism involved because Trump “would want to do it there anyway. It’s just the perfect site … Trump Tower is not available.” Then Doocy acknowledged the potential legal problems, but also provided an excuse:

“Critics say the use of his property for official business violates the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. I’m sure the president has asked the lawyers, ‘Hey, how can I donate this, how can we possibly work around it?”

The Emoluments Clause prohibits the President from accepting money, or anything of value, from foreign governments or persons. So if the representatives of the G7 had to actually pay Trump in order to attend the next summit, that’s a pretty obvious violation. Even if the site was donated, the publicity would have to be considered something of enormous value and, therefore, illegal. What’s more, Doocy is playing clairvoyant by surmising with certainty that Trump would have consulted his lawyers. You know, geniuses like Rudy Giuliani. But based on his past, that actually seems like the last thing Trump would do.

Ainsley Earhardt also contributed to the unpaid advertisement by remarking that “It would be a beautiful place, though, for world leaders to go and see what our country looks like.” Because all of America looks exactly like an elite golf spa in Miami? She then declared that Doral was “representative” of the country, before adding that “I’ve never been to Doral.” So in other words, she’s an expert, by Fox News standards.

None of the Fox friends bothered to mention that Doral had a serious problem with bed bugs a couple of years ago. But Trump couldn’t resist bringing it up:

Trump’s denials are in keeping with his tendency to lie about virtually anything. Even though – as in this case – he settled a lawsuit against the resort for the infestation. Trump and the Foxies also neglected to mention that Doral has been suffering a severe financial drought. It’s net operating income has dropped 69 percent in two years. So that would make Trump’s promotion of it even more suspicious as an attempt rescue another one of his floundering business enterprises.

It’s bad enough that Fox News is a 24/7, State TV, propaganda machine for Trump and his Republican Nationalist Party. But is there nothing too unethical for this so-called “news” network to do on behalf of their Dear Leader? They have already appeared at Trump’s political cult rallies. And they can be relied upon to defend any atrocity that Trump commits, while viciously maligning his critics. Now they are even serving as the sales agents for his failing golf resort. It would be oddly comforting if this were the bottom of the Fox News/Trump abyss. But every time it seems we’re there, they find a way dig even deeper.

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

Fox and Friends Transforms Into the Official Trump Campaign Media Headquarters

On Tuesday Donald Trump is “officially” launching his 2020 presidential reelection campaign. But like everything Trump does, it’s a phony stunt with a purpose wholly unrelated to what is advertised. In fact, Trump launched his reelection bid the day of his inauguration in 2017. The rally that Trump is planning in Orlando is just another opportunity to assemble his cult hordes and rant incoherently for two hours about Democrats, the press, and how awesome he thinks he is.

Fox News Friends

It’s no coincidence that this rally is taking place a week before the first Democratic primary debate, also in Florida. Trump is fond of stepping on the political events of others. It’s his campaign equivalent of photo-bombing. And he’s preparing for the big day by enlisting his State TV (aka Fox News) confederates in the promotion effort. To that end, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends booked Trump’s campaign press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany for a few minutes of uninterrupted Trump-fluffing (video below).

The segment began with a “sneak peek” at Trump’s first campaign ad for the 2020 cycle. It was predictably jam-packed with words and pictures that exalted Trump as the returning Messiah. Notably, the clip that Fox and Friends aired prominently displayed a number to send a text message to the Trump campaign. Then they silently re-played the same segment – with the text number showing – in two-thirds of the screen while interviewing McEnany.

Following the campaign video, Fox and Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt introduced McEnany, and asked her “What do you think?” That’s right. She asked the spokesperson for the Trump campaign what she thinks about the advertisement produced by the campaign. That’s the sort of hard-hitting “journalism” we’ve all come to expect from Fox News. And naturally, McEnany’s response was the typical snake oil patter of a dedicated StormTrumper. Without even bothering to reply as to what she thinks about the ad, McEnany veered into an attack on “the dozens of socialists running in the Democratic field.” Fill-in co-host Dan Bongino then weighed into to ask a probing question which he prefaced by saying that…

“The tax cuts worked, the economy’s booming, unemployment is at historic lows, red tape is being cut. But when you look at polls – I was reading an article a while ago from the New York Times – a lot of Americans don’t even believe they got a tax cut. Contrary to the data which says they did. Do we as Republicans need to do a better job of getting the message out, that this economy is due to a change from the older Obama liberal ways?”

What we have here is an outright declaration by a Fox “News” host that he and his colleagues are Republicans and are seeking advice from Trump’s press secretary on how to advance their shared political agenda. Not that we didn’t already know that, but they don’t often admit it on the air. The rest of Bongino’s “question” was really a thinly disguised campaign pitch for Trump that was littered with provable lies. Most notably that the American people are somehow ignorant of their own tax burdens. Actually, they know very well that Trump’s Tax Scam has hurt them while helping corporations and the wealthy.

Then Earhardt returned to the video’s text message number. Because, just like any other commercial, you can’t repeat that often enough. At this point Fox and Friends began to sound more like the Home Shopping Network for Trump. She queried McEnany saying…

Earhardt: At the bottom of that video we just saw it says to text “Trump” to [REDACTED]. What happens if you do that?”
McEnany: It’s really important. It allows us to update our data. We have the best data in the business, Ainsley. That means we know what doors to knock on. We’re going to be able to isolate the handful of the few million voters who will decide this election. Because of that text you allow us to update our data. You also get to be a Trump volunteer. What’s better than that?

So now Fox News is participating in refining the Trump campaign’s election databases and recruiting volunteers. What’s better than that? This was followed by co-host Steve Doocy raising the issue of Trump’s floundering poll numbers. He noted that “The story over the weekend was that the President is not doing very well in his internal polls.” That’s true, and after denying that these polls exist, Trump fired the pollsters suspected of leaking the data. McEnany waved it all off with some lazy and transparent spin. But what Doocy didn’t bother to mention was that there was another poll over the weekend with similarly bad news for Trump. That one was by Fox News itself, and it showed Trump losing to all five of the Democrats that they pitted against him.

This is just the beginning of the 2020 election cycle, and already Fox News is fully engaged in their role as the media arm of the Trump reelection effort. If anything, they are even less ashamed of exposing their partisanship than in previous cycles. If there were any justice, Fox News would be forced to declare itself a political operation and report its services as in-kind contributions to Trump’s campaign. Unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen because integrity at Fox News is as rare as it is in the candidate they are working for.

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

Fox News Spanks Guests for Citing ‘Doctored’ Pelosi Video, Fails to Mention Trump Tweeted It

The massive disinformation factory that we know as Fox News manufactures countless lies and propaganda messages on behalf of their benefactor in the White house, Donald Trump. It is a daily (hourly) chronicle of fake news and fluff pieces devoted to exalting Dear Leader and maligning his critics. But every now and then even they go too far and require a stern finger-wagging.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Fake

For some utterly unexplainable reason Fox News regards the minstrel show duo, Diamond and Silk, as legitimate political analysts. Fox regularly features these allegedly comic dunces in segments that pretend that their opinions and laughable presentations aren’t really as humiliating as they appear. And on Friday morning they outdid themselves with their holy-roller style rhetoric that proved nothing but what shallow losers they are (video below).

As part of their spiel, Demean and Sulk lashed out at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In the process they referenced a badly edited video that made Pelosi appear to be intoxicated. The video has been repudiated by every legitimate news enterprise, and even some illegitimate ones like Fox News. In fact, after the D&S segment, Steve Doocy, co-host of Fox and Friends, read a denunciation of the video:

“During the Diamond and Silk segment they mentioned Nancy Pelosi. I think they … I was unfamiliar with what they were talking about. I’m looking at foxnews.com, there’s a story:

“‘Manipulated videos of Nancy Pelosi edited to falsely depict her as drunk spread on social media. And according to a report from the Washington Post, experts believe the original video was slowed down to 75% from the original and that her pitch was also manipulated in order to present her under the influence.’

“Not a real video. It’s doctored.”

It stretches the bounds of probability that Doocy was actually unfamiliar with the video since it has been a viral story for two days now. But at least he took the time to acknowledge that the comments by D&S were untrue. Even though he tainted the “correction” in the eyes of Fox viewers by attributing it to the Washington Post, which they all regard as “fake news.”

What Doocy left out entirely is that Donald Trump also featured the phony video in a tweet that he captioned in all caps, “PELOSI STAMMERS THROUGH NEWS CONFERENCE” So Trump not only helped to spread these repulsive lies, he elaborated on them in his own words. But for some reason this didn’t warrant a mention on Fox and Friends during a segment that explicitly chastised the use of it.

The actual Diamond and Silk segment could have been a Saturday Night Live routine without any rewriting. The main spokesperson (I think it was Silk, but does anyone really know?) slandered Pelosi saying that “She can’t even form a complete sentence without looking perplexed and confused.” And that “We’re all questioning her mental capacity. She always look like she’s a non-functioning alcoholic. She slur her words.” And that “She is deteriorating like a snowflake.”

Among other thing, D&S asserted that Pelosi had “lost control of the House.” Never mind that she has presided over a remarkably productive session with over 150 bills passed. They went on to whine about the investigations of Trump’s unsavory associations with Russia and obstruction of justice. They insisted, parroting Trump, that it’s Democrats who should be investigated.

It’s political discourse like this that has earned Fox News (aka State TV) its reputation as a low brow disseminator of pseudo-news for the cognitively impaired. And what’s really sad is that Fox’s own anchors and hosts aren’t any more respectable as journalists than these two frightwig models.

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

Fox News Shills Parrot Trump’s False and Peculiar ‘Praise’ of a New York Times Campaign ‘Spy’ Story

For most his presidency, Donald Trump has demonstrated a remarkable capacity for failing to understand the simplest matters that unfold in current events. Either that or he is deliberately distorting reality to conform to his preconceived delusions. This is evident in everything from his confused grasp of the economy, to his embarrassing belief that stealth fighters are actually invisible.

Fox News, Spying on Trump

On Friday morning Trump took another step into the cognitive void. He posted a tweet that offered backhanded praise to the New York Times for an article about the FBI’s investigation into his campaign’s contacts with Russia. But his comprehension of the Times article was indicative of a diseased mind:

It was thoughtful of Trump to suggest that the Times should get a Pulitzer Prize. Especially since they already got one this year for “an exhaustive 18-month investigation of President Donald Trump’s finances that debunked his claims of self-made wealth and revealed a business empire riddled with tax dodges.” But Trump’s tweet missed the whole point of the story. He also missed the headline, which his tweet falsely quoted as “Details effort to spy on Trump Campaign.” The actual headline was “F.B.I. Sent Investigator Posing as Assistant to Meet With Trump Aide in 2016.”

Notice that what Trump called a “spy,” the Times referred to as an “investigator.” And that’s precisely how Fox News helpfully sought to elaborate on Trump’s glitchy characterization. The “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends did a segment on the story by the Times that led with a gleeful Steve Doocy completely misrepresenting it (video below):

“So it’s a big story in the New York Times. Remember a couple of years ago when Donald Trump said the government was spying on him? Turns out the New York Times, in this morning’s edition, right here on the front, we’re gonna show you the headline, ‘FBI Sent Investigator Posing as Assistant to Meet with Trump Aide in 2016.'”

First of all, can anyone explain why Fox put that MAGA sign in the graphic, other than as a free advertisement? More to the point, Doocy went on to describe the story as involving Trump’s foreign policy advisor, George Papadopoulos, who the FBI was indeed investigating to ascertain his links to Russia. Doocy even acknowledge that, although he repeated Trump’s rhetoric about spying, which is not what happened. But co-host Brian Kilmeade agreed and then went full conspiracy crackpot by accusing the FBI of “covering their tracks” due some to imaginary exposé that Kilmeade wouldn’t reveal.

In reality, this was part of an investigation that had already begun. It was initiated after an Australian diplomat told the FBI about a meeting he had with Papadopoulos in a London bar. Papadopoulos revealed that he had access to damaging information about Hillary Clinton obtained by Russian hackers. That meeting took place in May of 2016. The meeting referenced in the New York Times story took place in September of 2016, several months later. So, since the investigation was already in progress, what exactly were Trump and Fox News so excited about? The Times story merely affirms prior reporting that Trump’s campaign had unsavory associations with Russia that were worthy of scrutiny.

Trump has been whining incessantly about what he calls a “Witch Hunt” and a “hoax” for much of the past two years. But his contention that he was the subject of spying is ludicrous. When law enforcement assigns officers to engage in surveillance it is routine and legal investigative work, not spying. And in Trump’s case, it was all conducted with strict oversight and lawful warrants issued by independent judges. Nevertheless, Trump managed to twist the Times’ story into something it wasn’t, and then declared some sort of deranged victory.

This is just another sorry attempt by Trump – with Fox’s help – to malign the FBI and American intelligence agencies. That’s something that he has been working hard at because he knows what he is guilty of and, therefore, needs to discredit the police agencies who are protecting the nation from criminals. Criminals like Donald Trump, who also tweeted that he spoke with Vladimir Putin Friday morning. His tweet indicated that they spoke about the “Russian Hoax.”

So now Trump is talking to our enemies about his attacks on American law enforcement? Is he still colluding with Putin to coordinate their stories that there was “no collusion, no obstruction”? Doesn’t he realize that Putin is a subject of the investigation by the FBI, and it’s entirely inappropriate for him to discuss the case with Putin? And given all of that, do we really need any more reasons to impeach Trump?

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

HUH? Fox News Doofus Thinks that the Democratic Women at the State of the Union Like Trump

Anyone who has spent any time watching Fox News is well aware that it is a blatantly biased mouthpiece for conservative Republicans in general and the President in particular. It is often referred to (by me) as “State TV” because of its devoted support for everything Donald Trump does and says. And when they aren’t furiously defending the President, they are viciously attacking his critics.

Fox News Friends

That creates plenty of opportunities for them to embarrass themselves with painfully ignorant rants and diatribes that are entirely devoid of facts, logic, or reason. Their hosts and guests are notoriously ill-informed or deliberately dishonest. But every now and then they outdo themselves with comments that are so profoundly stupid it’s hard to comprehend they could make them without the aid of some powerful psychotropic medications. And Wednesday morning, following Trump’s State of the Union address, there was just such an event.

During the speech, Trump pointed out that there were more women serving in the current session of Congress than ever before. That brought the mostly Democratic women in the audience to their feet as they cheered and congratulated themselves on their victories. This startled Trump who said that “You weren’t supposed to do that.” It’s hard to tell if he was referring to their applause or to the fact they got elected. But it was Fox News who really excelled at misunderstanding what had taken place. Steve Doocy, co-host of Fox and Friends, opened the program with this bit of celebration on Trump’s behalf:

“How do you like him now? Well the ladies of the freshman class of the Democrat Party seemed to like the President a lot last night. They gave him a standing ovation when he was talking about how many women were in the workforce and how many of them were elected in this past election.”

Holy Crap! Is Doocy having a stroke? Does he really believe that these Democratic women were standing up for Trump? The whole reason the were all wearing white was to make a statement that was critical of the Trump/GOP agenda that is rife with misogyny and discrimination. And their outburst was an obvious expression of satisfaction for having achieved so many electoral victories on behalf of women, and at the expense of Trump and the mostly Republican men they defeated.

They were protesting Trump, not applauding him. It’s one thing for Trump to misunderstand this reaction. He is a malignant narcissist who is mentally incapable of recognizing any derogatory sentiments aimed at him. His sickness results in his only seeing how much everyone – in his warped mind – loves and admires him. But watching these Fox News hacks so badly mangle reality makes one wonder if they are also severely delusional, or just determined to distort reality for their audience of Deplorables no matter what depths of absurdity they have to sink to. Either way, it exposes them as utterly useless as commentators on current events or more pointedly, the complexity of politics. But then, we always knew that about them.

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

Willfully Blind: Fox News Wonders ‘Where is the Russia Collusion?’ in Roger Stone Indictment

The walls continue to close in around Donald Trump and his criminal enterprise. And these aren’t the border walls over which he orchestrated history’s longest government shutdown. On Friday morning one of Trump’s longest known and closest associates, Roger Stone was arrested on seven counts that include lying to Congress, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice. Charges that Trump would be wise to study up on.

Donald Trump, Roger Stone

The arrest and indictment of Stone was not unexpected. In fact, Stone himself had predicted it in May of last year. Most observant followers of the Mueller investigation have known for some time that Stone was a target of the probe and that he likely ran afoul of the law. Even Trump acknowledged Stone’s complicity and praised him for clamming up about the case in a tweet that could have been written by an old-school mob boss:

Meanwhile, Fox News immediately went to work fulfilling their mission to shield Trump from any and all criticism. In a series of reports they downplayed any significance of Stone’s indictment, presenting it with exactly the same framing as Trump did in his knee-jerk tweet:

For the record, no one “alerted CNN to be there.” They noticed some unusual activity at the Grand Jury and surmised that an indictment might be imminent, so they sent a crew to Stone’s home in Florida. And you have to wonder which drug dealers Trump was referring to who were treated better than Stone who was released a couple of hours after his arrest. As for the “Greatest Witch Hunt,” it surely is the most successful with dozens of indictments and guilty pleas, some by top officials in Trump’s campaign.

Steve Doocy, co-host of Trump’s favorite morning show, Fox and Friends, was dumbstruck by the charges against Stone. But more importantly, he couldn’t understand how anyone would see any hint of collusion in the charges against Stone:

“When you look at the seven counts from the Grand Jury – obstruction of an official investigation, false statements to Congress, and perhaps witness tampering – once again, where is the Russia collusion?”

Where is the collusion? It’s everywhere. It’s in each and every one of the charges Doocy just itemized. The obstruction of justice is specifically related to Stone’s efforts to cover his involvement in conspiring with the Russia-affiliated WikiLeaks to acquire and publish emails stolen from Hillary Clinton and her team. The false statements to Congress were specifically related to his denials of such involvement. And the witness tampering was also connected to his attempts to intimidate his co-conspirators into keeping quiet about these crimes committed on behalf of Trump.

The position of Fox News is remarkably tunnel-blind, even for them. Some pundits have even said that these indictments are good news for Stone and Trump. Because it’s always such good news to have one of your closest confidants arrested for multiple felonies. The narrative at Fox is that because the word “collusion” wasn’t spelled out in the text of the indictments, that there wasn’t any. But that is a fool’s interpretation considering that each of the indictments explicitly address the criminal conspiracy in Trump World.

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

No doubt Fox’s cult-bound audience will buy into their narrative, as will Trump. But that is a small minority of the population at large, and the more new revelations about the Russia probe come out, the more the American people are turning against him. He is currently sitting at record lows of approval (37%), and even his favorite pollster, the thoroughly biased Rasmussen, has him at 54% disapproval (46% strongly disapprove). So Fox’s viewers are, once again, living in a manufactured world that bears no resemblance to reality. They are going to be shocked when all the facts are finally revealed. Unless Fox claims that they are “alternative facts” and that it’s all “fake news.” Which you can bet on.