Deflated and Defeated: Trump’s Final Pre-Election Interview on Fox News

During a year burdened with the deadly coronavirus pandemic, a historic recession, civil unrest, and the most divisive political environment in generations, election day may have seemed like it would never arrive. But, lo and behold, here we are. And now it’s just a matter of time before the nation learns whether it will go forward in a positive direction with the sane and decent leadership of Joe Biden, or if Donald Trump will somehow stumble back into the White House for another four years of turmoil, ignorance, and hostility.

Donald Trump, Mask, Fox News

In advance of the day’s voting, Trump spent some time with his bootlicking mood boosters at Fox News for a phone-in “interview.” And the “Curvy Couch” potatoes at Fox and Friends performed their Trump-fluffing duties just as they have for the past four (plus) years. The only real difference between this appearance and those Trump has done previously was Trump himself.

The normally hyped up “president” was uncharacteristically reserved this morning. In fact, he sounded exhausted and depressed. It’s almost as if he knew that his prospects for winning were as remote as my prospects for dunking on Lebron James.

Trump’s speech patterns were slow and halting. He appeared to have trouble forming coherent thoughts. The pauses between words signaled an inability express himself without sinking into pessimism and depression. For example, early in the segment Trump was asked by co-host Steve Doocy a simple, softball question regarding speculation that he would try to declare victory long before the results were in:

Doocy: At what point will you declare victory?
Trump: When there’s victory, if there’s victory. I think we’ll have victory. You know, the polls are suppression polls. I think we’ll have victory. But only when there’s victory. There’s no reason to play games. And I think we’ll have victory. I look at it as being a very solid chance of winning. I don’t know what the chances are. I don’t know how they rate the chances. But I think we have a very solid chance of winning.

In that brief exchange Trump repeated himself incessantly, especially the word “victory” (six times) as if he was trying to convince himself. And he says that his chances are good, even while saying that he doesn’t know what the chances are or how they are arrived at. For the record, FiveThirtyEight puts his chances at ten percent, and the Economist puts them at only three percent.

Following that, Trump was asked another gimme by co-host Ainsley Earhardt:

Earhardt: What has it been like? Have you loved the job? Has it been worth it? Because you’ve been under so much attack.
Trump: Well, it’s been mean. You’ve dealt with horrible people like “shifty” Schiff and “crazy” Nancy, and “cryin” Chuck Schumer. You deal with some horrible people.

So Trump’s response to whether he considered it “worth it” to be president was to complain about the “horrible” people he had to deal with. Of course, those people are the elected representatives of the people who Trump was so disrespectful to with his infantile nicknames. But more to the point, he couldn’t articulate any reason why he might have “loved” serving the people of the United States as their president. It’s been obvious for the past four years that he has indeed hated the job. He’s done nothing but whine about having to deal with the media, our allies, and members of Congress. In fact, he elaborated in his answer to complain that dealing with the U.S. is more difficult than dealing with China, Russia, or North Korea. That’s what he calls patriotism?

Finally, Trump couldn’t resist taking a shot at Fox News right in the faces of his hosts:

Trump is whining that Fox News hasn’t been sufficiently adoring of him. But to him anything less than 110% unflinching worship is inadequate. His examples of Fox’s betrayal are mainly that the network has aired a few speeches by Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Trump says that “there are other networks for that,” affirming his view that Fox News is his personal Ministry of Propaganda.

To hear Trump in this interview one can’t come away without the feeling that he’s given up. He’s recognized that he will not be reelected and that now he has to turn his attention to the legal jeopardy that will face him as a civilian. His demeanor is dripping with despair for the bleak future that awaits him. And for the majority of the American people, it can’t come fast enough.

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

Trump Parrots Illegal Advice By Fox News to Change Your Vote

There is now only one week left until election day. Not that election day has the significance it once had considering all of the opportunities to vote early or by mail. But it does still represent the end of the 2020 campaign season. And given the dreadful position that Donald Trump finds himself in, he is grasping desperately for ways to keep from suffering a historic landslide defeat.

Donald Trump, Mask, Fox News

As usual, Trump is relying on his shadow cabinet of Fox News sycophants for advice. Never mind that Trump is simultaneously bashing Fox for not being 110% adoring at all times, he still knows that he has nowhere else to go for the drooling devotion that Fox regularly provides. And on Tuesday morning he got a healthy dose of it from the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends (video below):

Co-host Ainsley Earhardt: According to Google Trends data, some people are thinking of changing their vote and they’re asking if they are able to do that. This is what’s trending right now: “Can I change my vote,” and “Hunter Biden.” Do you think that after we’ve learned the news of Hunter Biden, the alleged reports about him, people now want to change their Biden vote to Donald Trump vote?
Co-host Steve Doocy: Well, here’s the thing Ainsley. Every state has different rules. Minnesota, Michigan, Washington, Wisconsin, all have specific laws where you can change your mind after you vote. If you vote, apparently, in person at an early voting place, you don’t get a do-over. But if you submit an absentee ballot, or one of those mail-in ballots, apparently you can go ahead and change it.
Earhardt: Or you can also go to the poll and vote in person and that’s the one that would count.

This is only partly true. If you voted in person already, you cannot change your vote. If you voted by mail, there are certain circumstance where you can request another ballot or vote in person. However, voting in person after casting a mail-in vote is only permitted in five states. One of them is New York. In the other 45 states you will be potentially committing felony voter fraud if you attempt to vote twice (which Trump has previously encouraged people to do).

So if voters in New York wish to take the advice of Fox News, they can do so. But what’s the point? First of all, how many Biden voters in New York are going to switch their votes to Trump because of a phony scandal about Hunter Biden that even the GOP chairwoman couldn’t defend in an appearance on Fox? And it wouldn’t have any impact whatsoever on the outcome of the election in the solid blue state of New York.

Nevertheless, Fox’s number one viewer was watching and couldn’t resist commenting on the possibility that Biden supporters are suddenly clamoring to switch their votes to Trump:

Trump’s assumption that a trending topic on Twitter regarding changing votes refers to switching to him is ludicrous. That’s particularly true with regard to his assertion that the switch is coming after a debate that most people say Biden won. And the Hunter Biden story has utterly failed to get any traction. Consequently, by urging people to change their votes now, Trump is probably only persuading Trump voters to switch, producing more votes for Joe Biden.

What’s more, Trump didn’t make any distinction about states where this is legal and those where it isn’t. He didn’t even link to the Fox News clip that did alert people to the differences in different state laws. That could result in people putting themselves in legal jeopardy. Not that Trump cares. If the nation’s coronavirus SuperSpreader-in-Chief doesn’t care about putting people’s lives in jeopardy, he surely doesn’t care about this.

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

Trump has Already Abandoned His Campaign and the Presidency

As election day draws nearer, the beads of flop sweat on Donald Trump’s wrinkled brow are turning into a tsunami of orange cosmetics running down his face and turkey neck. There is the unmistakable stench of defeat emanating from him as his tweets and public commentaries grow ever more unhinged from sanity. Not that they were ever particularly well connected.

Donald Trump

The fuming desperation that is the driving force in the final days of the Trump regime is producing behavior that ranks near the lows of his public life. He’s issuing ludicrous demands to prosecute Barack Obama and Joe Biden for imaginary crimes. He’s making wild, baseless claims about communist Democrats plotting the destruction of America. And he’s continuing to downplay the tragic consequences of the coronavirus that he allowed to spread uncontrollably across the country. And even after being infected himself, he attempts to cast it as a positive development and a sort of messianic sacrifice he took on.

Naturally, Trump’s Ministry of Propaganda (aka Fox News) has backed Trump every step of the way. They have been devotedly fulfilling their mission to defend Dear Leader from all criticisms, while viciously attacking his critics. And joining him on the front lines of this battle are the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends.

On Tuesday morning the F&F crew was on the job. In a segment discussing the lopsided political horserace (video below), co-host Steve Doocy concedes that Biden is significantly outraising Trump. But he skims over that fact to extol the “enthusiasm” of the glassy-eyed disciples who populate Trump’s cult rallies. “You can’t buy that,” says Doocy, despite the fact that that’s exactly what Trump does by staging these ego-paloozas. Of course, Trump shares Doocy’s position on enthusiasm, as expressed in this tweet where he claims that “you win races with enthusiasm.”

Actually, Biden’s accumulated donations of massive amounts of money is a far better indicator of enthusiasm than getting unemployed hicks to show up for a free rally. Doocy then follows up by rattling off the names of cities to which Trump will be taking his Coronavirus Super Spreader Tour this week. Then he goes on to say that Trump’s tour schedule will soon expand into…

“…two or three events a day. And then in the final sprint – in the final week or so – he’s going to do half a dozen events a day. And think about it…if you are in those battleground states, and the President comes and gives one of those great big rallies, you’re gonna wind up with a lot of free media and a lot of excitement. And that is what he thinks got him over the finish line last time.”

What Doocy is describing here is the complete surrender of Donald Trump. It’s a surrender, first of all, from his duties as the alleged “president.” Apparently, he sees his only job now to be starring in pseudo-religious revival shows in airport hangers. Secondly, he’s conceding electoral defeat by abandoning any effort to persuade voters to back his candidacy. He’s focused solely on those who are already committed to the Church of Trump. And that isn’t nearly enough to win a national election.

What’s more, Doocy correctly notes that Trump’s 2016 victory was largely dependent on free media. Every news network irresponsibly and unfairly aired his rallies live and uninterrupted. But what Doocy – and Trump – fail to recognize is that 2020 is not 2016. This time around, the only network that is airing the Trump Show is Fox News. And, once again, the only audience he is reaching are the already converted and lost souls of Trumpism.

So Trump isn’t doing his job as president (which is a big plus for the country). And he isn’t doing his job as a candidate (which removes an annoyance from the airwaves). So what the heck is Trump doing? He’s laying the foundation for his post-presidency career on the road and in the media. But he may be in for a huge letdown.

How many of Trump’s “fans” will actually pay to see his smarmy, ego-logues over and over again? And his hostile, crackpot rants would likely wear out after a couple of episodes on TV. Which would leave Trump with nothing but his worthless name and a newly disinterested benefactor in Moscow. Oh, and a half dozen state prosecutors filing indictments for everything from tax fraud to crimes against the state. However, one thing is certain: With Trump circling the drain financially and legally, America will be great again.

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

Trump Shocks Fox News By Leaking Secret Deal for a Weekly Segment.

Throughout the 2020 presidential campaign, Donald Trump has affirmed his cowardly approach to the media. The vast majority of his interviews have been reserved for the Fox News Trump-fluffers that he knows will be gentle with him. He has virtually sealed himself in a Fox News bunker. But despite his tedious and impotent repetition of Stalinist inspired catch phrases like “fake news” and “the media is the enemy of the people,” Trump, as he recently admitted, spends hours watching Fox every day.

Donald Trump, Mask, Fox News

Trump’s reliance on glassy-eyed disciples like Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Lou Dobbs, and Maria Bartiromo, is further evidence of the cult-like nature of his following. And no one can plausibly deny that Fox News isn’t fulfilling its role as Trump’s Ministry of Disinformation. It’s the same sort of mutually beneficial relationship that parasites enjoy with their willing hosts.

On Tuesday morning Trump visited once again with the network’s “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. The “interview” was typical of the slobbering tongue baths that Trump is accustomed to on the network. The adoring hosts smiled vacantly as Trump accused Joe Biden of using drugs during previous debates and public appearances. They declined to follow up after he asserted that the governor of Nevada is going to rig the ballots in his state. They fawned over his phony “peace” agreement that entirely excluded the Palestinians. They valiantly kept straight faces when Trump blamed wildfires on “exploding trees.”

However, there was a moment of melodrama when Trump seemed to reveal a secret agreement that he made with his Fox News benefactors. It went something like this…

Trump: It’s good to be here. It’s great to be with my friends. I think we’re gonna do this, we’ve agreed to do it once a week in the morning, and I look forward to it. Like the old days.
Steve Doocy: I haven’t heard that. Well, that’s an exclusive.right there.

So Trump just broke the news of a programming agreement between him and Fox. Trump was also fondly recalling his pre-presidential days when he had a weekly segment on Fox and Friends called “Mondays with Trump.” However, now that he resides in the White House, such an arrangement would be wholly inappropriate for both Trump and Fox News. It was so improper that when Trump repeated the news later in the program, Doocy – probably on orders from producers in the control room – shot it down in this awkward exchange:

Trump: We’re going to do it every week. Every Monday, I think they said. And if we can’t do it on a Monday, we’ll do it on a Tuesday like we did today.
Doocy: You may want to do it every week but Fox has not committed to that. We’re going to take it on a case-by-case basis. And Joe Biden, as well, is always welcome to join us for 47 minutes like we just did with the president.

Note that Trump had already hung up by the time Doocy issued his denial that an agreement had been reached. But Trump was not expressing some vague desire to have a weekly segment. He explicitly said that “we’ve agreed to do it,” and referred to what “they said” about his new regular Fox gig. Of course knowing Trump, that could have been either a lie, a figment of his imagination, or the truth that was supposed to be confidential.

No matter, Trump’s casual acceptance of such a flagrantly unethical deal reveals how comfortable he is with embracing blatant propaganda. It also tells us that he has an hour available to chat with with his Fox friends every week. That’s important because it would significantly cut into his other primary duties: golfing, tweeting, and watching other programs on Fox News.

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

Gaslighting on Fox News: Trump is a Leader on Wearing Masks?

You really have to wonder if Fox News viewers are stupid enough to believe the sheer nonsense that flows from the network’s agents of disinformation (aka hosts). And isn’t Donald Trump’s State TV network insulting them by presuming that they will swallow everything thing they say no matter how preposterous? Are there any limits to what the cult will consume without question?

Donald Trump, Mask, Fox News

On Tuesday morning the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends led off with a segment that featured a tweet by Trump posing for a photo-op while wearing a face mask.

There is so much wrong with that tweet that it’s going to take some time to unwind all of it. First of all, Trump has been the most divisive president since the Civil War, so it’s ridiculous for him to assert that “We are united” in any context other than removing him from office. Secondly, even if we concede that the coronavirus originated in China, it’s success in infecting nearly four million Americans, and killing more than 140,000, is due primarily to Trump’s negligence and incompetence. Thirdly, if Trump regards wearing a mask as patriotic, then his patriotism has been woefully absent for the past six months. And finally, most polls show that Trump isn’t even in the top 44 of favorite presidents.

Despite the absurdity of Trump’s newfound advocacy of mask wearing, Fox and Friends co-host Steve Doocy latched onto it as launching pad for some syrupy sycophancy (video below):

“Trump encourages Americans to mask up. Look at this. […] It’s very telling that yesterday he posted that Twitter picture with him wearing the mask because, as we just opened this segment, certain localities may have to close things down again because the spread is going out there.

But you know, masks are not political. The science says that face coverings are the best way to slow the spread. And if you don’t want to close things down again, if you want to reopen the schools, if you want to keep businesses open, if you want to go to sports, you’ve got to wear the masks. And so I think the president is becoming a leader on this issue. Maybe now, once again, MAGA will stand for ‘Masks Are Great Again.'”

Seriously? Trump is a “leader” on this issue? Since when are people who, due to ignorance and vanity, refused to wear a mask – and even mocked those who did – regarded as leaders when they claw their way onto the bandwagon five months later, after unprecedented suffering and death?

Despite Doocy’s new position that “masks are not political,” Trump’s reversal on masks is nothing but pure politics. Trump’s flip-flop is obviously driven by the fact that his approval rating has fallen off the edge of the Earth, and he is losing to Joe Biden in most polls by double digits. This is a desperation play as Trump watches his world collapse around him. It’s the reason he’s returning to the daily Coronavirus Task Force briefings, which were always just thinly veiled reelection campaign events.

Trump’s aversion to masks is well documented – by Trump! As recently as this past weekend, Trump was asked by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday if he regretted not wearing a mask and if he would consider a national mandate. He replied

“No. I want people to have a certain freedom, and I don’t believe in that. No. And I don’t agree with the statement that if everybody wear a mask everything disappears. […] all of sudden everybody’s got to wear a mask, and as you know masks cause problems, too.”

Trump has been saying much the same thing since the earliest days of the pandemic. “I think wearing a face mask,” Trump said last April, “as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens, I don’t know. Somehow, I don’t see it for myself. I just don’t.”

However, Trump sees it now. Why? Perhaps because of his abysmal polling and reelection prospects. For Trump the primary concern has always been himself. and it is no longer possible for him to pretend that the American people are on his side. A new ABC Washington Post poll shows that 64% say that they do not trust Trump on the matters related to the coronavirus. And 79% are in favor of wearing masks.

Consequently, Trump is suddenly presenting himself as a patriotic advocate of mask wearing. And true to form, Fox News sees that late and exploitative transition as a demonstration of leadership. And both seem confidant that Trump’s cult disciples will adapt these mythologies to their warped version of reality. The good news for them is that they are likely right. The Trump cultists remain firmly in their comatose state. The bad news for them is that there aren’t enough of them to fill an Applebee’s.

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

Scandal Starved Fox News Devours Moldy Story on Clinton and AG Lynch

Ever since Donald Trump delivered his Dystopian State of the Union address a couple of weeks ago, he has demonstrated his failure to grasp the consequences of having been impeached. He has embarked on a campaign of paranoid expulsions of perceived enemies from his own administration. And he has exposed a diseased and frightened mindset that makes it plain that he hasn’t learned a thing, as some terminally naive Republican senators presumed he would.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Fake

Among the Trumpian atrocities that have occurred in recent weeks is the brazenly biased interference of Trump’s Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr, in the case of convicted felon, and longtime Trump political guru, Roger Stone. This was an ethical breach so egregious that more than 2,000 former Justice Department officials from both parties have called for Barr’s resignation.

The Trump playbook on responding to charges against him is as predictable as it is shallow. He merely seeks to manufacture similar charges against his opponents. However, there isn’t anything that could be plausibly be asserted with regard to the administration of justice by Democrats that is remotely comparable. So Trump World is stretching completely out of shape to fight back on this one.

What they have apparently settled on is a revisitation of a meeting between Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch at an Arizona airport four years ago. There was never any evidence of anything improper in that meeting, although Republicans latched unto it like a pack of rabid hounds hoping to uncover some wrongdoing. Despite their best efforts, they failed utterly. Clinton, after all, was not the President, and Hillary was no longer in government, so neither had any influence to wield. Therefore, any comparison of that event to Trump putting pressure on Barr is ludicrous.

But that didn’t stop Fox News from interviewing an author whose new book promises “explosive new information” about the “Secret on the Tarmac.” Christopher Sign joined the “Curvy Couch” potatoes on Fox and Friends to discuss what was introduced as “the tarmac meeting that rocked 2016.” Co-host Steve Doocy began by asking Sign a flagrantly leading question (video below):

Doocy: From the get go, this just didn’t add up, did it?
Sigh: Not at all. When I broke this story we knew something had occurred here that was a bit unusual. It was a planned meeting. It was not a coincidence. It was planned. And this details everything that they don’t want you to know and everything they think you forgot. But Bill Clinton was on that plane for 20 minutes and it wasn’t just about golf, grandkids, Brexit.

And that’s the entirety of this “explosive new information.” Sign did not reveal anything else about what took place or what was said. When asked how he knew that something was going on, he replied that “I have a source that walks me through it from point A to point b to point Z. And my source saw it all unfold.” Once again, Sign provides no details about what his alleged source told him. Only that Clinton arrived at the airport and waited briefly until he could board Lynch’s plane, where they spoke for about twenty minutes.

Shocking, isn’t it? There is no evidence of any plot or any even any potential benefit from this allegedly clandestine rendezvous. There is no indication that Sign’s source was on the plane or witnessed any of the discussions. The confirmation that the meeting lasted only twenty minutes suggests that there couldn’t have been anything of importance taking place, and certainly nothing that couldn’t have been discussed on the telephone.

So how does their scenario explain why Clinton and Lynch would have needed to meet at an airport in Arizona? Neither Sign, nor anyone at Fox News, can explain what might have been so controversial about this. And the reliance on an unidentified source should make the whole thing invalid according to Trump, who has frequently insisted that such sources don’t actually exist.

Trump himself weighed in on this pathetic excuse for a scandal at the time, tweeting…

Notice that Trump, as he is wont to do, nearly doubled the time Clinton supposedly spent on Lynch’s plane. And it’s surely no surprise that Trump thinks it would be impossible to talk about one’s grandchildren for half an hour, because he probably can’t even name his. Most grandparents can go on for hours about their grandkids. That’s how desperately wretched this attempt at concocting a scandal is. Fox News is really scraping the bottom of the barrel these days.

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

UH-OH: Trump’s Favorite Fox News Shills Admit He Extorted Ukraine to Smear Joe Biden

The impeachment trial of Donald Trump is entering its second week with his Fox News Legal Team continuing to present a defense that is wholly composed of deflections and lies. And they are sticking with that game plan despite the bombshell revelations from former National Security Advisor, John Bolton, that Trump did indeed threaten to withhold critical military aid from Ukraine in order to coerce them into helping Trump smear Joe Biden.

Donald Trump, Fox News

Bolton’s account of events is soon to be published in his book The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir.” These incriminating disclosures are now frustrating efforts by Senate Republicans to dispense of the impeachment trial quickly. It is becoming much more likely that a sufficient number of Republicans will seek further testimony from witnesses, including Bolton. That could open the floodgates to additional witnesses and document production.

Furthermore, the media is appropriately curious as to what Bolton might have to contribute to the pool of evidence against Trump. And that’s not just what Trump refers to as the “fake news.” Even Trump’s favorite morning show, Fox and Friends, is struggling to deal with these new reports. On Monday morning co-host Steve Doocy addressed the revelations in Bolton’s book (video below) noting that…

“Apparently it says Bolton was told ‘Trump wanted to continue freezing money to Ukraine until they helped with probes of the Bidens.’ But we heard him say in the transcripts he wanted President Zelensky to look into the Bidens and what happened in 2016. So is this a big, big, big story?”

That’s actually a good point, coming from someone who’s not known for making them. We did hear Trump say that he wanted Zelensky to look into the Bidens. Not only in the so-called “transcripts” that Trump keeps imploring people to read, but also in his own words during an episode of “Chopper Talk” wherein he was asked directly what he wanted from Ukraine and replied that…

“I would think that if they’re honest about it they’d start a major investigation into the Bidens. It’s a very simple answer. They should investigate the Bidens.”

It appears that Trump’s staunchest media bootlickers are now conceding that he cannot be defended with blanket denials that he did anything wrong. They can no longer say that it was “a perfect phone call.” They must accept the fact that Trump engaged in overt extortion, but then try to argue that it wasn’t illegal or impeachable.

That’s the argument that Trump-fluffer and Fox contributor Dan Bongino made for most of this segment. Co-host Brian Kilmeade interjected that Trump’s legal team needs to include in their scenario that Trump “was wanting an investigation into what happened with the Bidens in 2016” But in order to do that, Trump would have to repudiate everything he has asserted thus far in his defense. Kilmeade also closed the segment with a bizarre new bit of advice:

“I will say this. I will say the President should take from this, between the Lev [Parnas] and Igor [Fruman] tapes that are now out, and then people writing books about him, he’s got to do better a job vetting his staff to find out if they actually want to work for him or not. Or if they actually want to leak out information about him. So he’s got to do a better job hiring people.”

Really? So the lesson that Kilmeade is conveying to Trump is not that he should take care to comply with the law and refrain from engaging in treasonous acts. It’s that he should be more careful to associate only with those whose blind loyalty can be relied upon to become willing accomplices to his crimes. Good to know that Fox News has Trump’s interests at heart, even when they are contrary to those of the nation.

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

HEY FOX NEWS: Opposing Trump’s Derangement Is Not Support for Iran’s Terrorism

The debate over Donald Trump’s order to assassinate a top Iranian military commander is beginning to take on the familiar tones of the Bush administration’s dishonest and unlawful invasion of Iraq nearly twenty years ago. Following the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani there has arisen a cry from the Trump camp for an unquestioning embrace of the mission that still has not been justified or defined.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Hate Again

Bush’s rationale for invading Iraq was rooted in deliberate falsehoods about nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. His national security team would not provide any proof of the claim, but insisted that the American people get on board and support the President on blind trust. Bush famously admonished rational skeptics that “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”

This is precisely how the Trump administration is framing its assault on Soleimani and his subsequent threats against Iran. Those threats include outright declarations of Trump’s intention to commit war crimes by targeting “cultural sites” with “disproportionate” force. And Trump is getting plenty of help from his State TV Ministry of Propaganda, Fox News. The memo must have gone out over the weekend to portray all of Trump’s critics as unpatriotic and supporters of Iranian terrorism.

That, of course, could not be farther from the truth. It is not only possible, but necessary for free thinkers to raise questions about Trump’s actions. After all, he has refused to provide any evidence of his implausible contention that Iran was plotting attacks on the United States. And his resume of flagrant lying about all things great and small make him wholly unbelievable as a source for anything more significant than the weather (and he has blatantly lied about that as well).

That, however, isn’t what you’ll from Fox as their sycophantic shills campaign to canonize the Liar-in-Chief. It was evident early on with Trump’s favorite morning program, Fox and Friends, where co-host Ainsley Earhardt engaged in friendly banter with co-host Steve Doocy and squealed giddily that…

Earhardt: I find it so interesting that people are critical of the president’s decisions, of our intelligence community’s decisions, our general’s decisions.
Doocy: They want details.
Earhardt: Well, they can’t have it. They can’t have it. Everything can’t be made public.

That’s an astonishing commentary from the folks who have been lambasting the intelligence community as dishonest and corrupt and anti-Trump “Deep State” traitors, for the past three years. Nor have they been especially respectful of generals, three of whom Trump has fired from senior White House posts, while maligning them fools and insisting that he knows more than all of them.

Earhardt is also arguing that Trump should be permitted to withhold the intelligence that would justify his actions. That’s a bizarre position from someone supposedly in the “news” business whose job is to investigate and report on the government and the politicians who occupy it. Not that there have ever been any actual reporters on Fox News. They are there for one purpose only: to advance the propaganda of the Trump administration and, more broadly, the conservative agenda.

The notion that the media should accept and defend Trump’s secrecy was further articulated later in the day on Fox by commentator Katie Pavlich. During a debate with Democratic consultant Richard Fowler, who argued that the American people should be shown the intelligence that informed Trump’s decision, Pavlich shot back, “You’re not entitled to seeing it because people like you don’t believe in intelligence.”

Once again, this is coming from someone who has been a staunch critic of the intelligence community for years. And she’s directing this thinly veiled personal insult at “people like” Fowler, whose support for America’s intelligence agencies is well documented. What’s more, it’s absurd to suggest that disagreeing with Trump is also disagreeing with the intelligence community. There is absolutely zero evidence that intelligence was the basis for anything that Trump has done. If it was, there is surely some portion of it that he could make public.

The gist of the Fox News position is that anyone who doesn’t devotedly follow Trump and blindly believe whatever he says without question, is unpatriotic. They contend that requiring Trump to explain himself and his decisions is tantamount to sacrilege. They fail to comprehend that true patriotism requires politicians to continually justify themselves, particularly if they are known to be pathological liars.

Americans are not supposed to be regarded as, or treated like, sheep led by aspiring dictators who cannot be challenged or questioned. But according to the Fox Doctrine, Trump must be worshiped as a prophet sent by God to lead the nation into a dystopian future. That’s not how America works. Even if Trump’s lackeys appear on Fox and accuse his critics of “hero worship” of Soleimani, simply because they won’t submit to Trump’s holy version of reality. Which is what Kellyanne Conway did this morning:

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

Fox News Hack Defends Trump for Making 2019 the ‘Darkest Year Yet for Journalists’

After three years of bootlicking fealty to Donald Trump, there are very few people who would dispute that Fox News is serving as the Ministry of Propaganda for the Trump regime. There has never been a “news” organization more tightly aligned with a political leader and party than Fox News. They even regularly exchange personnel who seamlessly work for both the network and the White House. Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, and others are card-carrying members of Trump’s “Shadow Cabinet.”

Donald Trump, Fox News, White House

Other than Fox News, Trump has been relentlessly hostile to the press from the beginning of his presidency. He routinely refers to it in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people,” and dismisses any less than adoring coverage as “fake news.” Michael M. Grynbaum of the New York times took note of this in a year-end column that accurately described 2019 as the darkest year yet for journalists He elaborated…

“On Twitter, President Trump deployed the phrase ‘fake news’ 273 times this year — 50 percent more often than he did in 2018. He demanded ‘retribution’ over a ‘Saturday Night Live’ sketch, declared that Washington Post reporters ‘shouldn’t even be allowed on the grounds of the White House,’ and accused The New York Times of ‘Treason.’ […]

Mr. Trump’s vilification of the news media is a hallmark of his tenure and a jagged break from the norms of his predecessors: Once a global champion of the free press, the presidency has become an inspiration to autocrats and dictators who ape Mr. Trump’s cry of ‘fake news.'”

Trump has terminated the daily press briefings that were a decades-long part of White House operations. He replaced them with his “Chopper Talk” harangues on the lawn of the White House where he’ll berate reporters and lie unashamedly while dodging their questions. And his constant assaults on the press creates an environment of imminent risk to the lives of reporters. Trump even whined to Vladimir Putin that he would like to “get rid of them,” expressing his envy of Putin’s ability to assassinate journalists who offend him. That’s the sort of loathsome rhetoric that caused the Committee to Protect Journalists to issue a long and detailed condemnation of Trump as “an unprecedented threat,” and went on to say…

“Donald Trump, through his words and actions as a candidate for president of the United States, has consistently betrayed First Amendment values. […] A Trump presidency would represent a threat to press freedom in the United States.”

In response to the article in the New York Times (a frequent victim of Trump’s attacks), right-wing media hack Joe Concha appeared on Fox News to defend Trump’s malicious behavior (video below). However, he proffered a badly mangled argument that Trump was justified in criticizing the press because they were so critical of him. The problem with that is that no one was suggesting that Trump couldn’t offer his own criticisms. But there is a difference between pointing out what he believes are inaccuracies, and accusing reporters of treason.

Likewise, Concha argued that Trump couldn’t be considered a threat to journalists because he speaks to them directly from time to time. Once again, that doesn’t excuse what he’s actually saying in those encounters. If you threaten reporters with cancellation of their credentials, or with prosecution and imprisonment, you cannot simultaneously claim you’re not a threat because you spoke to them.

Fox and Friends co-host Steve Doocy eagerly agreed with Concha’s premise, saying that Trump often approaches reporters at Mar-A-Lago and takes questions. What Doocy didn’t acknowledge is that those avails are always designed to give Trump the advantage. He takes only the questions he wants, and pretends he didn’t hear the others. And if his answers are insufficient, or totally irrelevant, he refuses follow-ups or any effort to clarify.

The problem with what Concha and Doocy are saying is that they regard Trump’s insults and threats as legitimate critiques of the media. They ignore Trump’s menacing outbursts that cast journalists as criminals and traitors. And they don’t seem to comprehend that labeling everything you disagree agree with as “Fake” isn’t a coherent rebuttal. It’s a flagrant attempt to demean an honorable profession, and the only one protected by the Constitution.

Trump’s purpose is to destroy the public’s confidence in the only institution they can rely on to keep them informed and hold the powerful accountable. In this way Trump hopes to get away with his criminal, amoral, and disloyal, activities. And Joe Concha and Fox News are right there to back him up.

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

Trump Brings His Crowdstrike Conspiracy Theory Clown Show to Fox News

No one is going to be surprised to hear that Donald Trump unleashed another flurry of flagrant lies in a barely coherent attempt to extract himself from the impeachment quandary that is burying him. But the weakness of his latest arguments is a cringeworthy display of intellectual impotence.

Donald Trump, Pennywise

Trump made yet another appearance on his favorite Fox News morning program, Fox and Friends. He called in to chat with the “Curvy Couch” potatoes and to rail against his perceived enemies in Congress and the media. It was a forty-five minute spectacle of deranged babbling that even Fox’s hosts seemed to find excessive and exasperating.

Among the myriad of topics that Trump meandered about as he vainly sought to persuade people that he isn’t criminally insane, was one that he has been obsessed with for three years. It is also one that has been certified as Russian propaganda. The subject concerns his bizarre notion that a computer server belonging to the Democratic National Committee contains some unspecified evidence of wrongdoing by Democrats. And that server has somehow been transported to Ukraine for unknown reasons. It’s all pretty ludicrous, but oh so Trumpian. His wildly careening rant eventually led to this screwball soliloquy (video below):

“They have the server from the DNC, Democratic National Committee. The FBI went in they told them ‘Get outta here. We’re not giving it to you.’ They gave the server to Crowdstrike, or whatever you call it. Which is a country…a company owned by a very wealthy Ukrainian. And I still wanna see that server. You know the FBI has never gotten that server. That’s a big part of this whole thing. Why did they give it to a Ukrainian company.”

Literally everything in that outburst is false. There is no evidence whatsoever that Ukrainians have any DNC server. Democrats never told the FBI that they couldn’t have it. Infact, the DNC provided the FBI with a mirror copy of it, which is all the FBI ever asked for. Crowdstrike is not owned by a wealthy Ukrainian. It’s actually a publicly owned U.S. technology company based in Sunnyvale, California. It was founded by two American citizens, one of whom was born in Russia. It would be difficult for Trump to have gotten more wrong in this statement. It was so preposterous that even Fox’s co-host Steve Doocy questioned it:

Doocy: Are you sure they did that? Are you sure they gave it to Ukraine?
Trump: Well, that’s what the word is.

So we have now descended to the point that the President of the United States is justifying his ridiculous conspiracy theories by citing “the word” of unnamed rumor mongers. Trump’s former White House Homeland Security Adviser, Tom Bossert, recently addressed this nonsense saying that “It’s not only a conspiracy theory, it is completely debunked.” Bossert was also troubled by the fact that this theory was being propagated by Trump’s personal attorney, and executive tripe wrangler, Rudy Giuliani.

This isn’t the first time Trump has gone haywire over the Case of the Mysterious Server Just last month he seemed to have had a mental malfunction that produced this unholy gibberish:

“I still ask the FBI, where is the server? How come the FBI never got the server from the DNC? Where is the server? I want to see the server. Let’s see what’s on the server. So the server they say is held by a company whose primary ownership individual is from Ukraine. I would like to see the server. I think it’s very important for this country to see the server. Nobody wants to see it. The media never wants to see it. I’ll tell you, Republicans want to see it.”

And if you think the text of that is wacko, you should see the video It is one of the best arguments for the impeachment of Trump as an urgent necessity. But if that isn’t enough, Trump also told the Fox Friends that “If I didn’t fire Comey, I would be in some trouble right now … It turns out to be the best move I ever made, firing Comey, because they were trying to take me down.” And that is as blatant a confession of abuse of power and obstruction of justice as you’re ever likely to see on television. Trump seems to be determined to impeach himself. So let’s help him out and get it done.

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