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.

Fox News Airs Ruth Bader Ginsburg Obituary Pic – What Would They Say if CNN Did the Same to Trump?

You wanna talk about “Fake News”? The most consistently dishonest news network, and Donald Trump’s personal State TV media division, Fox News, made a terrible mistake on Monday morning. They ran a graphic that implied that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died.

Donald Trump, Obituary Pic

This is not only a bad mistake, it is a morbid revelation that Fox News keeps such graphic materials handy and ready to broadcast at a minutes notice. To be fair, all news outlets have obituaries prepared in the event of the death of any famous person. They keep the files handy so that the news can be announced quickly without having to create it from scratch on the spot. But it is unusual for them to be queued up for live airing unless the person has been reported to be on their deathbed.

The error occurred during Trump’s favorite program, Fox and Friends. Shortly afterward, co-host Steve Doocy acknowledged the mistake and apologized saying:

“We need to apologize. At the beginning of Ainsley’s interview with a professor, a technical error in the control room triggered a graphic of Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a date on it. We don’t want to make it seem anything other than that was a mistake. That was an accident. We believe that she is still at home recovering from surgery. Big mistake in the control room.”

No kidding. The thing is, if this had happened on any other network with – for instance – a graphic of Donald Trump, Fox would have devoted half the show to it and insisted that it was a deliberate slur for which the network should be immediately shut down and the people responsible stripped of their citizenship and deported.

Following that, it would be picked up on subsequent programs throughout the day until it reached the peak of frenzy during Fox’s primetime block. Then Sean Hannity would declare that the whole thing was actually a threat to assassinate Trump and he would call for the arrest of the CNN anchors and executives.

Fortunately, this happened on Fox News so all that was required was a ten second acknowledgement and then we would never hear another word about it. No explanation for how it occurred. No word on who was responsible or what the consequences would be. And no comment from Ginsburg, the victim of this blunder, or any attempt to deliver a personal apology. But rest assured that the next time CNN or the New York Times misspells Melania’s name (as Trump did), there will be hours of attacks on what they call “Fake News.” And Trump himself would weigh in with his condemnations of “the enemy of the people” hoping for his demise.

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

Trump and Fox News Vainly Pretend that Polls Support The Border Wall and the Trump Shutdown

Desperation drives people to extreme and untenable measures. And that must be where Donald Trump and Fox News find themselves today as they try in vain to spin reality into something that resembles support for their positions on the Trump Shutdown and his idiotic vanity wall. With public opinion veering off into a bruising opposition to the Trump agenda, they are purposefully lying about recent poll results.

Donald Trump

On Tuesday’s episode of Fox and Friends, co-host Steve Doocy introduced a segment about the border/shutdown with a reference to a new poll by Quinnipiac University. He was almost giddy about reporting the good news that this poll allegedly propped up the President and his standing in the eyes of the American people:

“There’s a Quinnipiac poll that essentially supports what the President has been saying all along for about the last month. And that’s fifty-four percent of you, according to Quinnipiac, say ‘yes,’ there is a crisis at our southern border.”

So there you have it. The debate can now be put to rest and the Democrats in Congress should immediately surrender and give Trump everything he wants. Right?

Well, no. Because the poll had some additional insights that make this tidbit fairly irrelevant. For instance:

“American voters support 63 – 30 percent a Democratic proposal to reopen parts of the government that do not involve border security while negotiating funding for the Wall, according to a Quinnipiac University National Poll released today. Every party, gender, education, age and racial group supports this idea except Republicans, who are opposed 52 – 39 percent.

“Voters oppose 63 – 32 percent shutting down the government to force funding for the Wall, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University National Poll finds. Again, Republicans are the only listed group supporting the shutdown, 67 – 24 percent.

“The GOP is losing the battle as 56 percent of American voters say President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress are responsible for the shutdown, while 36 percent say Democrats are responsible.

“Voters remain solidly opposed to a wall on the Mexican border, 55 – 43 percent, and reject every argument for the Wall.”

The poll also revealed that fifty-nine percent say that the wall “is not a good use of taxpayer dollars.” Fifty-five percent say that it “would not make the U.S. safer.” Fifty-nine percent say that “it is not necessary to protect the border.” And fifty-two percent say that it “is against American values.” What’s more, the fifty-four percent who agree that there is a crisis at the border may not be in agreement with Trump’s definition of “crisis.” They may be concerned about the welfare of the refugees who are seeking asylum, and the children who were separated from their parents by the Trump administration.

Additionally, by a wide margin of 46-32 percent, voters said that Trump’s Oval Office address was “mostly misleading.” And they believed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer more than Trump by 46-36 percent. Only 2 percent say Trump’s address changed their mind. Sixty-five percent of respondents disapprove of Trump’s threat to declare a national emergency to fund the wall. And yet Trump is just as deceitful about these survey results as Fox News is. He tweeted that:

As usual, Trump doesn’t provide any source for those fictional numbers. But if he bothered to do any research he would discover that every poll is pretty much in sync with this one from Quinnipiac. Even an op-ed on the Fox website noted Trump’s precarious standings and warned that he “needs to end the shutdown now” if he “wants to have even a chance of winning in 2020.”. And, of course, Trump is lying about Democrats not wanting border security. They just don’t want his stupid wall and, like most Americans, they know it won’t enhance security. Wouldn’t it be nice if the Russian asset in the White House would tell his followers the truth for a change?

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

Fox News Host Pushes Trump-Fluffing Fox Contributor for the President’s Chief of Staff

The State TV propagandists at Fox News are starting the week out with some profoundly self-serving commentaries. On a segment of Donald Trump’s favorite show, Fox and Friends, the hosts went out of their way to advance the White House careers of a couple of their colleagues. This is further evidence of the tightly integrated relationship between Fox and this Reality TV administration. And coming so soon after Trump nominated former Fox News reader Heather Nauert to be the ambassador to the United Nations, it’s particularly troubling.

Fox News, Donald Trump

Beginning the segment (video below), co host Steve Doocy set out to make the case for Trump firing his current Chief of Staff, John Kelly. Doocy said that “It’s no secret that John Kelly and the President were not on the same page.” So Kelly is just becoming another reject from the Trump fold (see Rex Tillerson, Jeff Sessions, Reince Priebus, etc.) who was previously touted as “the best.” Doocy went on to explain why Republican Nationalist Party congressman (and wingnut Freedom Caucus leader), Mark Meadows, “would be a smart pick.” But that wasn’t smart enough for co-host Brian Kilmeade, who immediately jumped in to suggest someone else:

“I think David Bossie, not on that list, would be perfect. I think he understands politics, understands the President, he understands investigations because he was on the offensive side against Hillary Clinton with great success. He also understands how the President got to be president because he was there from day one.”

For the record, Bossie is a political activist who was responsible for the Citizens United case wherein the Supreme Court allowed unlimited donations to political candidates without disclosure. He also produced several ultra-conservative films, including one that viciously slandered Hillary Clinton. He was a deputy campaign manager for Trump’s Russia-infested 2016 election operation. And most recently he co-authored “Trump’s Enemies: How the Deep State Is Undermining the Presidency,” with Corey Lewandowski. So obviously he’d make a great gatekeeper for a president mired in scandal and criminality. And just imagine how effective he would be working with the Democrats who now control the House of Representatives.

And if that weren’t enough, a Fox News reporter, Kevin Corke, later did a segment during a “news” cast wherein he floated another former Foxie for the chief of staff post:

“Our old colleague, White House Communications Director and former Fox News co-president, Bill Shine, could be a name to keep in mind.”

Prior to his former job as president of Fox News, Shine was the producer of Sean Hannity’s show. The same Hannity who is now reported to have nightly phone calls with Trump, and who campaigned with him during the midterm election. He is virulently anti-Democratic, which makes him suitable for a job in the Trump administration, but wholly unfit to be supported by American taxpayers as their employee in the Oval Office.

The spectacle of Fox News urging their bought-and-paid-for president to hire one of their own should make every American cringe. The bonds between Fox News and Trump (who himself once did a weekly “Mondays with Trump” segment on Fox and Friends) are outside the boundaries of ethical government or media. There has never been such a relationship in this country’s history, and it should not be tolerated now.

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

The Most Devoted Trump-Fluffers on Fox News Repudiate His ‘Enemy of the People’ Spiel

Donald Trump is losing his grip on the most reliable lap dogs that State TV has to serve up. The “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends have long been Trump’s goto toadies. Even before he was a candidate for president, he had his own weekly segment on the program called “Mondays with Trump.” And ever since it has been the Fox News show that he has appeared on most frequently when he needed some ego stroking or damage control.

Fox News Friends

The hosts of Fox and Friends rarely have any disagreement with Trump. But on Tuesday’s program there was a surprising rift on a matter that Trump holds dear. His frequent references to the media in language he stole from Joseph Stalin as “the enemy of the people” has become almost as ubiquitous in his public pronouncements as “Make America Great Again, “Lock Her Up,” or “Build the Wall.” So this exchange between co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade is bound to rattle his dentures (video below):

Doocy: So there he is talking about his term, “enemy of the people.”
Kilmeade: I really wish he would lose that term. It doesn’t help anybody. It doesn’t push back on the media that he wants to push on…The press isn’t the enemy of the people.

Kilmeade added that “that broad statement does a lot of damage.” And Doocy joined in saying that Trump “probably feels like they are not doing him any favors, and so he doesn’t like them,” but “are they the enemy of the people? I don’t think so, either.” So even though Doocy tried to soften the blow, they both firmly rejected Trump’s favorite hateful characterization of the press that he despises so much. In fact, Doocy’s soft-serve actually makes the criticism even more harsh because it implies that Trump has only been saying that about the media to punish them for not being more adoring. Which, of course, is true.

UPDATE: Fox’s Martha MacCallum has also condemned Trump’s reckless rhetoric:

“When he points at the press in the back of the room and calls them the enemy of the people, that is wrong,” MacCallum said in a Women Rule podcast interview earlier this fall. “And it exacerbates the situation.” When asked her perspective on the president’s calling the media “fake news,” the host added: “I find it disturbing. I think it’s a mistake.”

Lately Trump himself has tried to walk back his neo-fascist approach to the free press. He now says that he never meant the phrase to apply to all of the media, just the “fake” media. That, however, is typical Trumpian bullshit. Because he also says that the fake media is the largest percentage of the media. How large? According to Trump, “A big chunk, okay? … ‘80%.’”

Consequently, Trump can’t pretend that he’s just singling out a few bad apples. He still wants to malign the whole field of journalism, especially when it doesn’t sufficiently suck up to him. But now he is losing the support of the most glassy-eyed disciples in the Church of Trump. That’s gotta hurt the big Narcissist-in-Chief. Where does he go if he can’t go to Fox News?

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

Trump Mindlessly Parrots Fox News Lies About ISIS Mixing with Migrant Refugee Caravan

One of the most frequent personal observations expressed by Donald Trump is his insistence that he is a bottomless vessel of boundless knowledge. He claims that he knows more about defense than his generals; more about climate than scientists; and more about the law than his army of lawyers. He may be right about the latter considering that Rudy Giuliani is the head of his laughably inept legal team.

Donald Trump Fox News

However, the evidence of Trump’s brilliance must be buried deeper than the Mariana Trench. He is wrong more often than a chimpanzee predicting the stock market. Although it’s hard to know whether his mistakes are due to common ignorance or, more likely, to flagrant lying. And so much of what he professes to know absolutely is just stuff he heard on Fox News, another disseminator of poorly manufactured fabrications. It’s a sign of his acutely shallow intellect that he relies so heavily on the alternative facts of a TV network staffed by proud foes of intelligence.

Nevertheless, that’s where Trump got his latest bit of bullpucky regarding the nearly 7,000 migrants marching toward the United States in hopes of escaping the poverty and violence in their home countries. Trump posted a tweet on Monday morning that was chock full of falsehoods with racist overtones:

Trump is so enamored of his ability to invent cute nicknames for the objects of his wrath that he came up with one for imposing crises. But the “National Emergy” that he’s panicking about is a figment of his overactive imagination. Especially the part about the “unknown Middle Easterners” allegedly mixing in. Trump appears to have absorbed this non-fact from the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. Co-host Pete Hegseth ranted incoherently about the migrant “caravan” in a segment that backed up Trump’s asinine proposal to deploy the military to confront peaceful, unarmed, refugee families. But the centerpiece of this nonsense was the allegation that members of ISIS were infiltrating the marchers (video below):

Hegseth: You got the president of Guatemala saying to a local newspaper down there just last week, they caught over a hundred ISIS fighters in Guatemala trying to use this caravan or other processes.
Steve Doocy: Are we sure that’s true?
Hegseth: He talked to their local newspaper, we don’t know it, it hasn’t been verified. But even one poison pill is too many in a caravan.

Virtually none of that is true. To begin with, President Jimmy Morales of Guatemala didn’t talk to a local newspaper. He made remarks at the Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America, an event whose attendees included Vice-President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Secondly, President Morales was not talking about ISIS fighters caught in conjunction with the migrant caravan. In fact, the caravan had not even begun when Morales spoke at the Conference. Thirdly, there is no evidence whatsoever that any apprehensions of terrorists were ever made. And finally, in his remarks Morales said that the alleged terrorists had all been deported, in which case they would no longer be in the country or able to sneak into the caravan. Therefore, no National Emergy.

From that basket of nothingness, the ultra-conservative shills at Judicial Watch published a thoroughly false report that implied that Morales had revealed an ongoing effort by ISIS to clandestinely enter the U.S. by disguising themselves as migrants. That work of fiction was picked up by Fox News, and then blasted out by Trump to his millions of Deplorable Twitter followers. And to reiterate, none of it was true. But that didn’t stop Trump from doubling with another inane tweet:

Let’s just set aside the fact that Congress had drafted a comprehensive, bipartisan immigration reform bill, but Trump’s stubborness to compromise killed it. Now he’s imploring his cult followers to “think of and blame the Democrats” whenever they see refugees seeking asylum in America. Note that he doesn’t want you to think of the hardships they’ve suffered, or even the impact on the U.S. by their being granted asylum. He sees this a purely political matter and he’s exploiting these human tragedies to try to offset the expected Republican losses in the upcoming midterm election.

What’s worse is that Trump’s response to this is to threaten to cut off aid to the countries these refugees are fleeing. So the inhumane conditions that led to their exodus will now get exponentially worse and more of them will take the risks to escape. That’s the sort of thinking that can only come from someone steeped in ignorance and hatred. It’s the thinking of television pundits whose expertise is in celebrity gossip. And sadly, it’s typical of what America has been having to tolerate for as long as Trump has occupied our White House.

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

Fox News Guest Dinesh D’Souza Honors the Humanitarian Slave Owners of the Old South

Leave it to Fox News to find the bright side of slave owners. While the rest of the civilized world condemns human trafficking, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends managed to produce a segment that highlighted the freedom loving Confederates on the old plantations of Dixie.

Fox News, Dinesh D'Souza

Co-host Steve Doocy interviewed one of Fox’s favorite shameless disseminators of flagrant lies, confessed felon Dinesh D’Souza. Earlier this year Donald Trump pardoned D’Souza for the federal crime that he had pleaded guilty to. The Fox segment began as an attempt to mock Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for what they asserted was a gaffe. It wasn’t. She tweeted that:

Ocasio-Cortez was replying to a tweet that noted that two recent presidents who lost the popular vote have put four justices on the Supreme Court. Doocy then asked D’Souza “Why does the Electoral College matter,” and “what do you think she was talking about?” D’Souza’s reply began by mansplaining what Ocasio-Cortez really meant (video below):

“Well, first of all, I think she’s confusing the Electoral College with the “three-fifths” laws. The three-fifths laws was about slavery, and it had to do with an argument between the North and the South over representation. Ironically, the North, which was the anti-slavery side, wanted blacks to count for zero because they wanted to reduce the representative power of the slave states. The South wanted blacks to count for a full person. So the three-fifths laws which was usually presented to show that the founders didn’t consider blacks to be fully human, doesn’t actually show that at all.”

D’Souza is almost right. The problem is that he leaves out the fact that the South only wanted to count slaves because it gave the region more clout in the federal government. Slaves would still be denied any rights and considered to be property. The South wanted it both ways: to own blacks like chattel, but count them to increase the political power of their white masters. Then D’Souza swung back around to the Electoral College:

“Now the Electoral College was a different matter. The Electoral College emerges out of this contest between the large states and the small states. Not an antiquated issue. We have that now. We have large states, we have small states. And if we had a system that gave power only to the large states, the small states would essentially be unrepresented. The whole point, remember, the core of our founding is the consent of the governed. So to create the union the founders needed the consent of the large states and the small states. The Electoral College is a part of that arithmetic.”

Once again, D’Souza os only partly correct. Much of the dispute between the large and small states was still a matter of north and south. The population of the North far exceeded that of the South. So Ocasio-Cortez was correct in associating the Electoral College with slavery. What’s more, D’Souza is wrong in stating that smaller states would be unrepresented without the Electoral College. Their representation in Congress would be identical. The only difference would be in presidential elections.

However, that difference has become a useless and undemocratic anachronism. Given the boundaryless mobility of the modern U.S., we should not still be electing the president by states, but rather by voters. There is no coherent reason why the tiny populations of Idaho or Wyoming should have a greater say in presidential elections than the vastly more numerous populations of California or Texas. And it’s fair to say that there are a lot of former residents of Idaho and Wyoming who now live in California and Texas. Should their votes be diluted simply because they moved?

Ocasio-Cortez is right to raise the issue of eliminating the outdated Electoral College. It should have been done long ago. Hopefully her colleagues in Congress join her in that initiative when she gets there in January. In the meantime, Fox News needs to stop hosting racists who talk down to women and demean them personally as incapable of grasping these issues. But then they would have hours and hours of dead air.

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

Tucker Carlson of Fox News Confesses that he ‘Can’t Look in the Mirror Without Self Loathing’?

On Tuesday, the morning crew at Fox News invited their primetime colleague, Tucker Carlson, to visit with the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends for a masters class in mind-numbing hypocrisy. Of course, that’s standard fare on Fox News, but this episode stretched the boundaries of the journalistic quackery that Fox is famous for. And it gave Carlson an opportunity to expound on something other than his white nationalist dogma.

Fox News, Tucker Carlson

The segment that featured Carlson was focused on criticizing the New York Times for a recent report about Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. The story concerned an incident in 1985 when Kavanaugh was involved in a bar fight investigation. Co-host Ainsley Earhardt introduced the segment with a graphic showing the Times’ headline: “Kavanaugh was questioned by police after bar fight in 1985.” So it was a pretty straight forward account of something that no one disputes took place.

Nevertheless, Fox and their friends were aghast that anyone would bring up an incident that occurred when Kavanaugh was only twenty years old. As everyone knows, it’s improper to investigate a public figure’s past unless they are Democrats. In which case, you can go all the way back to their birth certificate. Consequently, Carlson reacted with shock and sarcastically proclaimed that “I wish they’d have told me that. I never would’ve supported him.” He dismissed the article as “stupid and irrelevant” and generally mocked the Times for having published it. But the discourse sunk even lower as this exchange with Steve Doocy demonstrates (video below):

Carlson: This is the problem with so much of our coverage, and so much of the way we think about things. No self awareness at all. […] If you’re writing that story does part of you think “Is this why I got into journalism? To carry water for a political party? To be a propagandist? To write something so stupid that I can’t look in the mirror without self loathing?”
Doocy: Don’t you know the answer to that question?
Carlson: Some people never pause to ask “What am I doing with my life?”

Imagine having such a pitiful lack of self awareness that you can ask about the self awareness of others while you’re oblivious to what you’re saying at that exact moment. Tucker Carlson was actually chastising the Times for “carry[ing] water for a political party” and for being “a propagandist.” Those are two things that Fox News in general, and Carlson in particular, are best known for. So if Carlson thinks that someone being that big a suck-up “can’t look in the mirror without self loathing,” then he’ll have to remove every mirror from his home and office in order to get through the day. And knowing his degree of narcissism, that’s a lot of mirrors.

It was also somewhat curious that Doocy asked Carlson if he already knew the answer to his own questions. That sounds like Doocy was accusing Carlson of the political sycophancy he was complaining about. Which would be wildly out of character for Doocy. Regardless, Carlson just laughed it off with his patented smuggery. And in the end, none of them realized that what they were criticizing was what has been the central mission of Fox News for twenty years – if we’re allowed to go back that far.

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

Trump’s Press Secretary Has Replaced ‘Daily’ Press Briefings with Softball Interviews on Fox News

On Monday evening Donald Trump’s White House took the extraordinary step of parading its Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, out on State TV (aka Fox News), to whitewash the charges against him for sexual assault. That spectacle only exacerbated his problems by revealing him as awkward and over-coached in his own defense. And it doesn’t help that he was defending himself on the network best known for political partisanship and employing sexual predators.

Fox News, Sarah Huckabee Sanders

However, this tactic on the part of the administration further illustrates just how reliant they are on disseminating propaganda via Fox News. It’s their go-to media fixer when Trump is in trouble or they have some new unpopular initiative to foist on the nation. And in a totally unprecedented course of action, the White House has virtually eliminated the Daily Press Briefing as a means of informing the public about administration activities. They have replaced it with Fox News.

Trump’s Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, has held only one briefing so far in the month of September. She held only five briefings in June, three in July, and five in August. That’s one hundred and seventeen days with only fourteen “daily” briefings. This makes it far more difficult for reporters to gather information that the public deserves and is entitled to in a working democracy. Clearly Trump prefers to operate like the dictatorships he so admires in Russia and North Korea.

So the day following Trump sending off his Supreme Court nominee to the happy place for rightist news, he sets up a playdate for Sanders with his Fox and Friends. Sanders joined the “Curvy Couch” potatoes for an extended discussion on how splendidly everything is going in the White House and in America (video below). She stuck up for Kavanaugh, dismissed the controversy over Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, effusively praised her boss, and promoted the upcoming cookbook by Fox co-host Steve Doocy that contains a recipe by Sanders.

This performance is a poor substitute for briefings attended by diverse and independent journalists. Rather, it is an extension of Trump’s determination to turn the White House into a Reality TV melodrama with all the nonsense and artifice that implies. They aspire to lull the American people into a stupor that will be thrilled by the circus-like antics of a Big Brother presidency.

Unfortunately for Trump, just because his cult followers are foolish enough to fall for that, doesn’t mean that the rest of the country will. And even with his reincarnation of Goebbels (former Fox News president, and current White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communication, Bill Shine), Trump isn’t going to find success in dumbing down America’s democracy. He’s only going to make sure that his Deplorables remain utterly and painfully clueless. Just the way he likes them.

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

WTF? Fox News Host Suggests Trump Traded Election Tampering in Secret Deal with Putin

When Donald Trump met with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki he prohibited any media coverage of their discussion. Consequently, the American people have been left in the dark about what he did and said with the Russian dictator he is so clearly infatuated with. We know only what he said in the post-summit press conference, which is mainly that he trusts Putin more than he trusts his own intelligence agencies.

Fox News Steve Doocy

In the days that followed the meeting Fox News has been feverishly trying to mop up Trump’s mess with ludicrous excuses and irrational defenses. They even aired a flagrant propaganda video that was so inept it actually confirmed that Trump is a liar. They really didn’t need to work so hard at Trump’s absolution considering that his followers are blindly loyal cultists who are incapable of thinking anything Trump does is bad.

On Friday morning Fox News floated a new theory about Trump’s omnipotent brilliance and dominance over Putin. The “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends were engaged in their daily Trump-fluffing when co-host Steve Doocy unveiled how he thinks Trump outsmarted his BFF Vladimir (video below):

“What will be very interesting is if the President sat down with Putin and they had that private meeting on Monday of two hours. Nobody knows what they said, except the translator, who everybody on Capitol Hill and the political left would love to talk to.”

For the record, not everybody on Capitol Hill wants to talk to the translator. Democrats made a proposal to subpoena her, but Republicans voted it down. These are the same Republicans who are threatening to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for not turning over vol;umes of documents in the name of transparency. But I digress. Back to Doocy:

“None the less, it will be interesting if the President said to him, ‘Vladimir, you’ve gotta stop it. You’ve gotta stop with the meddling.’ If he said that on Monday to him and then he shows up, let’s say mid-October, before the midterms, and it’s still going on, what do you think the President would say then?

“He’d say ‘Look, I thought we had a deal here. I thought you were gonna stop it.’ So it looks like, if that were true, the President would have a little chip to play against Mr. Putin. ‘Look, you’re not doing it? I’m not gonna go along with the Ukraine, Israel, Syria, the plans we had made, maybe not so fast.'”

Doocy is suggesting that Trump used election tampering as a condition for agreement to a larger deal. Is he friggin’ kidding? The only consideration with regard to Russia interfering with American democracy is that it is unacceptable, intolerable, and that it must not occur under any conditions. Period. It is not a “chip” to be played in some diplomatic game. The only thing that a responsible president would say is “Stop it now or there will be serious consequences.” Also, how could Putin agree to to stop tampering with our election when he insists that he isn’t doing it?

And as if it isn’t bad enough to reduce the sanctity of our democracy to dealmaking with murderous tyrants, Doocy’s speculation also suggested that, in exchange for leaving our elections alone, Trump would put the status of international crises in Ukraine, Israel, and Syria up for grabs. Everything is apparently fodder in the “Art of the Deal” presidency (a book that Trump didn’t actually write). The welfare of millions of people, including long-time allies, can just be traded away for hollow promises from known liars.

This is just the sort of thing that makes testimony from the translator all the more necessary. And it reinforces the need to prevent Trump from engaging in these affairs behind closed doors where his ignorance and deceit can be exploited and/or concealed. The proposed second meeting with Putin that Trump is seeking should be canceled, or at least chaperoned by reputable adults. Because if Fox News hosts are speculating, in favorable terms, that Trump might trade away America’s democratic security for the welfare of innocent people, then truly any horror you can imagine is possible.

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