The Love Affair Between Trump and Fox News Has Been All Patched Up, Thank Gawd

There was a brief disturbance in the force this week when Donald Trump became disenchanted with his own State TV network, Fox News. Trump’s ire appeared to have been triggered by Fox having the audacity to interview a representative of the Democratic Party. He seems to think that Fox News is forbidden to interview anyone that isn’t a card-carrying StormTrumper.

Donald Trump, Fox News, White House

Trump unleashed a Twitter tantrum that included his declaration that “Fox isn’t working for us anymore,” and an order to his Deplorables that “We have to start looking for a new News Outlet.” These missives might have startled some in the media business, but those who have seen this sort of whining on Trump’s part before weren’t surprised. While he has had several breakups with Fox, they were always short-lived and the two lovers managed to kiss and make up every time.

The evidence that the latest rift in the Trump/Fox Affair has been mended is Trump’s Twitter feed on Friday. It contained five videos from Fox News all on a single subject: The Justice Department’s Inspector General report on James Comey. Trump could have gotten this news from anywhere, but he chose to feature the Fox segments because – well, Fox is still his sweetheart.

For the record, Trump and Fox News were both obsessed with the IG’s report and presented it as proof of Comey’s corruption and bias. Nevermind that the report explicitly stated that Comey broke no laws, which is why Trump’s corrupt Attorney General, William Barr, declined to prosecute. As for bias, Fox and Trump have never explained why Comey sabotaged Hillary Clinton’s campaign if he was supposedly supporting her.

The videos Trump posted included one with a phony “Democrat” who frequently appears on Fox News to bark at Democrats. Then there was one that featured a former prosecutor and current Fox Democrat basher. And there were three videos featuring Republican congressmen whose predictable partisanship was flagrantly on display.

Obviously Trump has gotten over his beef with Fox News. He always knew that Fox was his best friend and that their tiff would subside. Because where else can he go? He isn’t going to soil himself with the networks he calls “the enemy of the people.” And other right-wing media outlets are pitifully small and ineffectual. He knows that only Fox News has the sort of worshipful sycophants who can go on the air and say with conviction that Donald Trump has never told a lie, which is what Stuart Varney just did. It takes a special brand of deranged cult devotion to satisfy Trump’s massive and fragile ego. And only Fox News can offer that.

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

Lying Fox News Host Lies that Trump Has Never Lied to the American People

The mission of Fox News from its inception was to advance the goals of the nationalist right-wing and the Republican Party. But when Donald Trump came along they transformed noticeably into a State TV propaganda outlet devoted single-mindedly to this president and his hostile and demented ravings. Virtually every program lavishes praise on Trump and viciously maligns his critics.

Fox News, Donald Trump

What’s worse, is that there is no lie that is beneath the already sunken principles of Fox News. They are taking their cues from a president who has already told more than 12,000 lies since his inauguration. The legacy of the Trump presidency (contrary to his delusional hopes) will surely include this historically depraved achievement, along with caging babies and being a puppet for Vladimir Putin.

As if to to emphasize the enthusiasm Fox News has for lying about Trump, one of his favorite Fox hosts, Stuart Varney, conducted a dumbfounding interview with conservative Republican Joe Walsh who is challenging Trump for the GOP nomination for president. Walsh is hardly a pristine representative of political ethics, but in this segment (video below) of Varney’s program he shines with uncharacteristic virtue, and makes Varney look like a flaccid Trump sycophant and cult follower.

Walsh began by correctly observing that “We’ve never had a situation like this where we have a president that we fundamentally cannot believe.” A surprisingly skeptical Varney asked Walsh for an example. That was his first mistake. Walsh quickly provided an example from just the day before when Trump’s own staff admitted that Trump lied at the G7 summit when he said that he held high level phone calls with China about tariffs. Walsh’s example led to this bizarre exchange and ludicrous denial:

Varney: That’s not a lie. Let’s not get technical. If the man said – and he did – that high level talks had been held with China, that is not a lie. They were held with China.
Walsh: Stuart, he said there were high level phone calls with Chinese officials. His staff admitted that was not true, that he lied in order to manipulate the market.
Varney: Okay, give me another one.
Walsh: Stuart, you really don’t believe that that’s a lie?
Varney: No I don’t.

It is impossible to have a coherent discussion with someone who hears a flagrant falsehood, but denies what he just heard and tries to move past it in complete blindness. Varney simply accepts whatever Trump says as the truth, even if his own staff says that it isn’t. This isn’t political loyalty. It’s cult worship. And it continued further as the interview progressed:

Walsh: Do you believe this president lies?
Varney: No.
Walsh: You don’t believed he’s ever lied?
Varney: He exaggerates and spins.
Walsh: Okay, do you believe he’s ever told the American people a lie?
Varney: No.

Walsh finally gave up in exasperation as he realized that Varney’s doctrinal programming was impenetrable. He has clearly adopted the first order of a cult: Believe only the Leader. Everyone else is lying. And this isn’t even the first time this week that a Trump shill has claimed that Trump never utters anything less than the God’s honest truth. On CNN Chris Cuomo interviewed Trump’s 2020 campaign Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany. She also insisted that Trump has never ever told a lie. Trump’s new press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, said that she doesn’t think his lies are lies. This is all reminiscent of Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative facts,” And Rudy Giuliani’s Truth isn’t truth.”

No rational person could ever assert that Trump has never told a lie. Trump has lied about things big and small. He’s lied about tariffs being paid by China; about his polling; about the size of his crowds; about Obama; about the environment; about the border wall; and always about the news being fake. But Trump’s disciples regard him as a messiah who is an infallible manifestation of perfection. Which is precisely how Trump regards himself, having recently declared that he is The Chosen One.” And sadly, his Deplorables believe that too.

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

WTHolyF? Fox News Hysterically Whines that CNN and MSNBC ‘All Seem to Be Opinion Shows’

Well, we are through the looking glass, folks. Of course, that’s been said so many times in the Era of Donald Trump that most of us have built up an immunity to it. But on this occasion there is real concern that the fantasy (nightmare) weavers at Fox News have abandoned any pretense of reality.

Donald Trump Fox News

In a segment on Monday night’s episode Stuart Varney’s Fox Business program, the host interviewed Fox News’ media correspondent, and host of MediaBuzz, Howard Kurtz. The discussion was a particularly obtuse analysis of the editorial positions on MSNBC and CNN. It began with Varney calling out his competition for “Anti-Trump coverage” that is “wall to wall on those two networks.” And that led to this bizarre exchange with Kurtz (video below):

Varney: What’s your judgment, Howard, when two all news networks carry one single editorial message, which is resist Trump for everything and get him out? I mean, you’re a media guy. You can’t be that pleased that two major networks are going so consistently down that opinion road.
Kurtz: I wouldn’t go quite that far. I think there are some fair reporters at both networks. But certainly when you turn on the primetime shows, and it’s getting increasingly hard during the day, they all seem to be opinion shows. I mean, you know, you’ve got these panels that are six to one anti-Trump. I mean, there’s no secret about it. That’s the way they’re being programmed.

Seriously? That’s a media analyst on Fox News, the network that is best known today as “State TV” due to its unflinchingly adoring coverage of Trump and his Republican Nationalist Party. Fox News has dedicated it’s primetime block to three of the most biased Trump-fluffers on television (Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Tucker Carlson), Hannity even shows up to speak at Trump’s cult rallies.

As for panels that are partisanly skewed, Fox doesn’t leave that to just their primetimers. They begin with “Fox and Friends” in the morning. Then “Outnumbered” is aptly named with four (and sometimes five) right-wingers out of five co-hosts. And in the afternoon they have “The Five,” which is another four to one conservative pile-on. So Fox News actually designs their shows to have multiple wingnuts ganging up on a lonely alleged liberal. Neither MSNBC or CNN has such a program.

Kurtz did criticize Trump for advocating a boycott of CNN’s parent company, AT&T, in order to punish CNN. And even Varney acknowledged that MSNBC was doing well in the ratings prior to the release of the report by special counsel Robert Mueller. Kurtz agreed and made the point that MSNBC’s viewers might have fallen off due their disappointment that Mueller wasn’t more aggressive in his indictment of Trump. That’s actually a pretty good explanation for MSNBC’s recent ratings slump, although it’s still the second highest rated cable news network.

However, for Kurtz to stare into the camera and complain about the partisan tilt of MSNBC and CNN is hypocrisy on an Olympian scale. At least both CNN and NBC have actual news divisions that break stories and win awards. But for him to do that without even the slightest acknowledgement of Fox’s extreme political prejudices, marks him as the same sort of propagandist as Varney, Hannity, and the rest of Fox’s flunkies. If it wasn’t such a serious breach of journalistic ethics, it would make a hilarious sketch for Saturday Night Live.

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

Trump is STILL Colluding With Russia (and Fox News) to Deny Putin’s Election Interference

It’s been four days since the Mueller Report has NOT been released – only the four page cover up by Trump’s plant in the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr. In that short span of time the right-wing media has been furiously crafting a brazenly false narrative that imagines that Donald Trump was exonerated even though Barr’s letter explicitly denies it and the American people don’t buy it.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

Included in the campaign to vindicate from Trump are demands that the media apologize for accurately reporting about Trump’s crime-riddled administration. Which is ironic since it’s Trump who should be apologizing to special counsel Robert Mueller. For more than two years Trump has engaged in reckless character assassination, accusing Mueller of being a corrupt, dishonest partisan on an illegal witch hunt.

What’s more, the media’s MAGA Martinets are also calling for the President to actually escalate his war against the First Amendment. And perhaps the new king of anti-free press hysterics is the Fox News host of their alleged business channel, Stuart Varney went on an extended rant (video below) that proved nothing except for how valuable psychoactive pharmaceuticals could be if certain unhinged TV yakkers were taking them. Varney began his tirade by saying that:

“Now is the time for a presidential counterpunch. President Trump is good at this. Have a go at him and he’ll come right back at you, big time. Now is the time to counterpunch the media. For two years they’ve let their hatred show. I used to soften that word and say they have contempt for the President. No no, they hate him.”

Isn’t “contempt” actually strong than “hate”? And does Varney really believe that Trump hasn’t already been punching at the press with his Stalinist-inspired denunciations of it as “the enemy of the people” and “the opposition party”? He continued:

“For two years they’ve indulged in a orgy of hatred that colored absolutely everything. For two years they preened themselves, assuming the moral high ground. They’re the elite. They’re above the rest of us. They told us the President of the United States was a Russian agent. They told us he was a traitor. They breathlessly reported the most outrageous statements. They gave themselves prizes. Listen to this. It’s from the Pulitzer Prize awarded jointly to the New York Times and the Washington Post. I’ll read it.”

“For deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nation’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election.”

Varney then mocked this tribute as referring to leaks to the press by former FBI director James Comey, and the false allegations against Hillary Clinton for allegedly funding the infamous Steele dossier. What’s peculiar about this is that Varney is attacking the Pulitzer awards for their recognition of reporting on the “Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election,” not the accusations that Trump and his criminal associates conspired with Russia.

Russia’s efforts to illegally influence our election have been documented and affirmed by everyone from the U.S. Intelligence community to the Mueller report, according to Attorney General Barr. But this rabid rundown by Varney is denying that the election interference ever occurred. And Trump posted this video on his Twitter feed. Which can only mean that he is, once again, denying Russia’s involvement in tampering with the election. In that way Trump is still colluding with Russia by taking their side, absolving them of guilt, and making it easier for them repeat their crimes in 2020. Vladimir Putin must be ecstatic.

And Varney wasn’t through. He wrapped up this atrocious gift to our enemies in the Kremlin by lavishing adoring praise on Trump and lashing out again at the media:

“The counterpunch has already started. Good! The Trump campaign has sent a letter to news outlets telling them to employ quote ‘basic journalistic standards’ when booking guests who have made outlandish and false claims. Way to go Mr. President.”

For the record, that letter to TV news outlets was pretty funny. It called on them to refuse to book any guests who had proven themselves to be repeated and unrepentant liars. It singled out politicians like like Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Adam Schiff. But it more accurately described people like Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, whose absence from the airwaves would make them decidedly more trustworthy.

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

Sean Hannity Defends Trump’s Treason Summit Even While His Fox News Colleagues Bail

Monday morning Donald Trump held hands with his bestie, Vladimir Putin, for the duration of a surreal press conference wherein he repeatedly took Russia’s side on every issue (here are some must see excerpts). It was a festival of betrayal the likes of which have never been seen.

Donald Trump Sean Hannity

The reaction to this internationally televised farce was nearly unanimous disgust and, for most Americans, anger and embarrassment. Trump refused to condemn Russia for interfering with our election. He dismissed his own intelligence agencies in favor of Putin’s promises. He kept bringing up debunked conspiracy theories about Democratic computer servers and Hillary Clinton’s emails.

It was a pitiful sight that marked Trump as the deceitful dotard that he has become known to the world as. And he received the reception that he deserved from most rational observers. Which, of course, leaves out Sean Hannity. On his radio show Monday morning he unleashed an extended rant defending Trump and denigrating his critics. That included some of Hannity’s Fox News colleagues. Hannity said in part:

“These Republicans have been so pathetically weak. They have been so feckless. They have been so visionless.”

And it only got worse from there. Let’s review just who Hannity is referring to, and what they said that rattled Hannity so:

  • Abby Huntsman: No negotiation is worth throwing your own people and country under the bus.
  • Stuart Varney: It was not a very forceful presentation from President Trump with Putin standing right next to him. Not forceful at all.
  • Neil Cavuto: Trump’s performance was disgusting. I’m sorry. This is the only way I feel. It’s not a right or left thing to me. This is wrong. A U.S. president on foreign soil talking to our biggest enemy…is essentially letting the guy get away with this.
  • Trish Regan: This was clearly not his best performance… He should have defended us! He should have defended his own intelligence community.
  • General Jack Keane: What happened today is stunning and disappointing.
  • Brit Hume: Because Trump is unable to see past himself, he sees the Russia meddling investigation as only about him and the collusion claim, and thus calls it a witch hunt.
  • Shepard Smith: Shameful, disgraceful, treasonous. Three of the descriptions of what Trump did today in Helsinki.
  • John Roberts: There is a growing consensus tonight across this land that the President threw the United States under the bus.

And those are just the folks from Fox News. Republican politicians like John McCain, Jeff Flake, and Lindsey Graham weighed in as well. Even the Worm of – I mean the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, distanced himself from the Trump train wreck. It’s no wonder that Trump chose Hannity for his post-summit interview, which was so lame it doesn’t even warrant a review. But it was probably just the sort of tongue bath that would restore Trump’s orange glow.

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

Twitter Scorches Fox News and Trump for Taking Credit for Obama’s Economy

The big economic news on Friday was that 33,000 jobs were lost in September. It was the first time in seven years that the jobs numbers went negative. Most reports were quick to cite the rash of hurricanes that plagued the nation in recent weeks. However, the job growth statistics throughout 2017 have lagged behind the same time period in 2016.

Donald Trump economy

It’s no coincidence that Donald Trump and Fox News have been bragging about the performance of the stock market. It’s an easy, albeit deceitful, distraction from the other bad news of the day. Never mind that stocks are currently in the second longest bull market in history and that it started in 2009 under President Obama. Trump has done literally nothing that would change the momentum of Obama’s economy. Not a single economic bill has reached his desk for signature. But that hasn’t stopped him and his propaganda division at Fox News from trying to steal the credit, as demonstrated in these tweets:

The wealth increase that Fox News is touting is based solely on the rise of equities. Not only is it false to describe that as “the nation’s wealth,” it is a fluid indicator that could reverse course tomorrow. Indeed, many stock analysts regard the market’s current position as overvalued. These analysts are predicting a “correction” that could send the markets down ten or twenty percent. What’s more, the soaring stock market does not reflect the economic realities of most Americans. Other economic indicators (i.e. wages) are showing only small advances. The beneficiaries of stock gains are predominantly the usual suspects of the GOP (Greedy One Percent).

Some of these discrepancies were observed by the Twitter community, who proceeded to bludgeon Fox for their bullshit. A few of the notable comments follow:

It’s always dangerous to rely on stock market performance to validate the economy. There are too many factors that can shift investor sentiment. And with Trump’s saber-rattling over nukes with both North Korea and Iran he’s playing with fire, literally. And if that doesn’t sink the markets, then his proposed tax plan, which will benefit only the rich and blow up the deficit, will do the job.

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

Hillary Clinton Gets The Most Bizarre Endorsement Ever From A Fox News Douchebag

And now, as the 2016 presidential campaign consumes its final hours, the evidence of its historic peculiarity becomes unmistakable. Fox News has spent the past year and half trying to package Donald Trump as a reasonable choice to lead the free world. At the same time they have been blistering Hillary Clinton with vicious attacks, many made up out of thin air. But nothing could have prepared us for the segment Monday on Stuart Varney’s Fox Business program.

Fox News Ralph Peters

Varney hosted Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, one of the most wild-eyed, vitriolic members of the Fox Contributor Corps. Peters is notable for his unhinged tirades against America’s bitterest enemy, Barack Hussein Obama. One especially deranged Obama rant (also on Varney’s show) saw Peters become hopelessly overcome with loathing. In mid harangue he blurted out that “This guy is such a total pussy it’s stunning.” That earned him a mild rebuke from the host and a two week suspension.

However, on Monday Peters made a shocking announcement with regard to the presidential election (video below). Despite his radically right-wing views, Peters affirmed that he will be voting for Hillary Clinton for President of the United States. Of America! But his endorsement was somewhat, let’s say unconventional:

“I think Hillary Clinton is despicable. She has committed criminal acts. And she’s greedy. She’s corrupt. And yes, I’m going to vote for her. I’m voting for Republicans down the ballot, but I’m voting for Hillary Clinton because it’s a vote against Donald Trump.”

OK, so it’s more of an anti-endorsement of Donald Trump than an endorsement of Clinton. But his explanation of what he finds so objectionable about Trump is worth noting:

“I don’t want Moscow’s man in the White House. I know I could be a lot more popular this morning if I said ‘Trump’s the Messiah, I’m gonna vote for him.’ This is about the future of our country, it is about our security. And here’s a guy who apologizes for everything Vladimir Putin does and makes crazy remarks about NATO, about Syria, about nukes, about the Mosul offensive. And, oh by the way, about foreign trade. Do you want a global recession? Do you want to see your portfolio really tank? Sure, just walk away from all our trade deals.”

Peters’ sacrilege clearly bothered Varney, who made a valiant effort to bring him back into the Fox fold. Varney tried to explain his reasons for being a Trump supporter. Let’s just set aside the impropriety of an alleged “news” anchor announcing that he’s a supporter of a political candidate. His reasons rest on his desire for an economic growth plan that will spur prosperity. So he ought to be supporting Clinton, whose continuation of Obama’s expanding economy, and record eighty consecutive months of job growth, is what he professes to want. Peters responded accordingly by asking with regard to Trump:

“Where is the plan? Show me the plan. Of course we want growth. He is lying to the American people. He is lying to blue collar workers and that is the background I come from. The village blacksmith shop is not coming back. People need skills for the jobs of the future and this cult of Trump is going to lead a lot of places.

“Look, Hillary Clinton’s domestic policies repel me. She is awful, but she is safer for this country’s security than Donald Trump. And I think Vladimir Putin has a deep hold on Trump and we should all be much more alarmed than we are.”

To reiterate, Peters is the guy who thinks Obama is a pussy. But he’s supporting Clinton because she’ll keep us safe and Trump is Putin’s puppet. If it weren’t on video it would be easy to dismiss as a prank or a lost SNL sketch. As it is, it may be the best Clinton endorsement we’re gonna get from a Fox News pundit. And it seems fitting to end the campaign season with an arch-conservative blowhard throwing Trump under the bus and backing up a couple of times to make sure he’s thoroughly flattened.

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

That Time Fox News Punished An Analyst For Calling Obama A P*ssy

The video that revealed that Donald Trump is a repulsive, misogynistic, sexual predator has upended his campaign. While many people already knew this, the visual evidence has caused some Republicans (but not nearly enough) to finally accept the obvious and repudiate their nominee. The spectacle of having a major party candidate talk about “grabbing the pussy” of random women at will is as nauseating as it is unprecedented.

For Fox News however, the profane language has been made the focus of their coverage. That isn’t nearly as disgusting as the behavior it described, but it’s Fox’s way of diminishing the episode on Trump’s behalf. The problem for Fox is that even the language was considered indefensible last December when their military analyst, Ralph Peters, used it to insult President Obama. Apparently this language is unacceptable for Fox News, but just fine for the presidency. This is what happened at that time and the punishment dealt out.

Fox News Ralph Peters


December 7, 2015

Foul-Mouthed Fox News Obama-Hater Is Given Time-Out By Puppet/Anchor

The seething hatred of President Obama by Fox News came gushing out this morning by one of the network’s most notorious hatchet men. Lt. Col Ralph Peters (whose name translates to “vomiting penises” in Slanglish) appeared on Stuart Varney’s Fox Business program to discuss/bash Obama’s Oval Office speech on terrorism last night.

Peters was virtually spitting teeth (video below) as he was unable to control his most primitive tendencies. In an otherwise mundane response to Varney’s inquiry as to “What was your commentary as the President’s speech unfolded?” Peters launched into a profane rant that barely addressed anything about the speech itself.

Peters: Well, first of all, he keeps speaking about “We can’t give in to our fears. Don’t be afraid.” Look Mr. President, we’re not afraid. [shouting] We’re angry. We’re pissed off. We’re furious. We want you to react. We want you to do something. You’re afraid. I mean this guy is such a total pussy it’s stunning.

Really? The President who presided over the capture and execution of Osama Bin Laden; who as Commander-in-Chief as ordered more than 8,000 airstrikes against ISIS; whose military missions have dropped more than 20,000 bombs on enemy targets; who has killed thousands of ISIS fighters, including many of its leaders; this president is a pussy? What Peters, and every right-winger, are too ignorant to acknowledge is that Obama has been executing a plan that has had much success. Yet his critics keep blathering about irrelevancies. Is it because he refuses to send more Americans onto a battlefield where they would become sitting ducks for a guerrilla insurgency? Or because he expects the people of the region to take responsibility for the ground war against an enemy that is murdering them?

Peters goes on to lambaste Obama in the fashion that birthers have long used to “otherize” him as an alien creature saying that “The American people, whom he does not know in any sort of intimate manner,” want action. He then rattles off s a series of assertions that the President cares more about our enemies than ourselves. Eventually, Varney steps in to daintily scold Peters for his potty mouth.

Varney: I can tell you are super-angry, and I asked you what your reaction was, but I gotta call you, you can’t use language like that on the program. OK. I’m Sorry.

He’s sorry? What for? Peters comes completely unglued with an offensive rant and Varney apologizes for chastising him, while excusing the outburst due to Peters’ anger. What makes this even more ridiculous is that Varney allows Peters to continue for a bit and then…

Varney: Ralph, I’m sorry. I’ve got to interrupt again. You used some very strong language there about the President of the United States, and I’m the anchor of Varney & Co. and I have to ask you, either you should apologize for that or take it back.

Peters chose only to apologize. But you have to wonder what happened in between Varney’s first redress of the foul language and his subsequent request for an apology. It seems likely that someone in the control room pulling Varney’s strings gave him a directive to force a more formal atonement. While Fox’s audience likely shares Peters’ crude disgust for all things Obama, the network may have to tread lightly so as not to offend their glassy-eyed, Christianist viewers.

For the record, Peters has proven to be one of the most repugnant individuals to ever appear on Fox News (and that’s saying something). The Ralph Peters Story is one of truly nauseating notions that include: advocating military strikes on the American media; that there aren’t enough civilian casualties in war; that the U.S. should be more like ISIS; that the Taliban should have been allowed to execute an American soldier; and many more horrendous pronouncements. Consequently, this frothing tirade is not particularly surprising. And it is typical of the irrational loathing that is broadcast on Fox News every day.

Fox News later issued a press release stating that Peters has been suspended for two weeks due to his “inappropriate and unacceptable” comments.


This is hardly an isolated event. On another occasion Fox News posted an article on their Fox Nation website with the headline “Press Pussies Soft On Obama.” And Donald Trump called Ted Cruz a “pussy” at one of his rallies. But you can count on Fox to adjust their outrage meter so that it goes off the scale when they are afraid of offending their wingnut audience, but barely registers when it might harm their candidate for president. It’s called hypocrisy, and Fox has got it down to a science.

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 Buy Into Batsh*t Crazy Clinton Conspiracy Theories – Again

Here’s more evidence that the right is falling into an abyss of desperation. Donald Trump is clinging feverishly to national polls showing him as competitive. Never mind that they have no bearing on who wins presidential elections. It’s the states that deliver electoral votes and the presidency. On that scale Hillary Clinton is way ahead. The Trump camp knows this, though they will spend the next few weeks frantically trying to divert attention from it.

The latest diversions qualify as certifiably insane. Let’s begin with a charge that emanated from the bowels of Alex Jones’ InfoWars. Jones, you will recall, is a Birther, a 9/11 Truther, and believes that the children murdered at Sandy Hook were all actors. This morning he posted a story alleging that Clinton wore an “earbud” during the Commander-in-Chief Forum last night. She was supposedly being coached with answers from unseen aides off stage. The story was picked up and propelled by the Drudge Report and even Fox News who said that:

“[T]he buzz Thursday morning was more about a report claiming Clinton relied on a ‘micro’ earbud as she fielded questions about national security — a claim her campaign vigorously denied.”

Donald Trump, Jr. tweeted “We cant let Hillary get away with wearing an ear piece during tonights Veteran Forum#HillarysEarPiece#NBCNewsForum” And Fox’s Sean Hannity joined in with a post on the subject as well.

There is just one problem with this crackpottery. The video of the event contains numerous shots of both of Clinton’s ears that plainly have nothing in them. The entire fantasy was born from a single video still that had a random reflection. That was sufficient to set the wingnuts to drooling over the discovery of Clinton’s evil plot. But, see? No earbud!

Hillary Clinton

If that wasn’t enough, Fox News sought to invent another fantastical scandal involving Clinton. This one was from the warped imagination of Stuart Varney, anchor of Varney & Company on the Fox Business Network. He introduced a segment that anxiously wondered “Who is Clinton’s ‘mystery man?’” The report featured video of a well-dressed gentleman accompanying Clinton on the campaign trail. Varney asserted that social media was blowing up over who he might be. He expressed skepticism that he might simply be one of Clinton’s Secret Service agents:

“If he’s actually a member of the Secret Service detail guarding Hillary Clinton, why is he touching her, because he did, he came up on the stage the other night and put his arm around her, and then said ‘Keep talking.’ Surely that is not what the secret service is supposed to do is it?”

Varney’s guest was former Secret Service agent and frequent Fox contributor, Dan Bongino. He offered a theory from way out in right field suggesting that the “mystery man” was “responding to the stage when [Clinton] is in what may have been some kind of a medical crisis.” Varney joined in the wild speculation asking “Is he supporting her during a medical crisis?”

Judging from the video that Varney showed, the man was undoubtedly with Clinton’s Secret Service detail. And he and other agents sprung into action when something occurred in the audience. Clinton, the agent, and others on stage were all looking in the same direction into the crowd. No one appeared to be concerned with Clinton’s health by any stretch of the imagination. See for yourself:

By the end of the segment both Varney and Bongino were dismissing the whole thing as a conspiracy theory that they had just debunked. Which was nice of them after having also just invented it and broadcast it to an audience thirsty for scandal. Both surely knew there was nothing to this before they began, but they considered it too juicy not to plant in the minds of gullible Fox viewers.

Expect to see more of these nutcase studies in Clinton intrigue before the election is over. Fox and Trump will surely uncover evidence of Clinton’s involvement in the Kennedy assassination. Not to mention the Hindenburg crash and fake moon landing. This is all they have left since they nominated a narcissistic ignoramus who can’t go twenty minutes without embarrassing himself and his party.

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

WTF? Donald Trump’s Plan To Prevent Terrorism: Give America A Pep Talk?!

The news from Belgium overnight is a disturbing new chapter in the war against international terrorism. These incidents are too frequent and cause too much misery for the victims and their families, while serving no purpose other than to incite fear. Unfortunately, with news of this nature there also comes the inevitable opportunists who see it as their chance to advance some self-serving agenda. And first in line for that sick exploitation this morning is Fox News and Donald Trump.

Donald Trump

The Kurvy Kouch Potatoes at Fox and Friends wasted no time in getting Donald Trump on the phone to offer his uniquely idiotic and wholly vacant opinions on the Brussels tragedy. Yet even in this friendly setting, every time Trump was asked what he would do under these circumstances, he dodged the question entirely and resorted to spinning his dystopian perception of the world as a terrorist infested hell hole. In more than thirteen minutes he didn’t present a single policy proposal to address the problem other than curtailing immigration and building walls. However, he did have delusions about bad guys with fake passports who are coming into our country by the thousands. Add to that his disseminating long-debunked falsehoods about no-go zones in Paris and Brussels, and his general dismissal of all counter-terrorism measures currently in place, and you have a stew of dangerous ignorance seasoned with rancid hatred and buckets of fear.

The exchanges Trump had with his Fox pals were so embarrassingly meaningless that even the hosts seemed to struggle to get Trump say something – anything – intelligible. They tried asking him the same question multiple times to pry an answer out of him, but still failed to do so. That was when they weren’t making fools of themselves by lobbing softballs like when Brian Kilmeade wanted to know if Trump thought his assessment of Brussels was right. Trump answered “Of course I’m right.” Now that’s journalism. And it was quickly followed by Ainsley Earhardt asking Trump to comment as a businessman “because the market are down […] what happens now from a business perspective?” Trump answered “I think this whole thing will get worse as time goes by. It’s being perpetrated now all over the place.” Note: The markets in the U.S. and Europe were mostly up today (Dow, S&P, FTSE, Euronext, CAC, DAX).

That nonsense is just the start of the foray into fiction for which both Fox and Trump are known. At one point Trump bragged that “I’ve been talking about this for a long time, and look at Brussels. Brussels was a beautiful city, a beautiful place with zero crime, and now it’s a disaster city.” Well except for the fact that Brussels not only has had crime, like any other city, but terrorism as well. For instance, in March of 2012, there was an attack on a Shia mosque. In June of 2012, two Belgian police officers were stabbed in a subway station. In May of 2014, a shooter killed four individuals at the Brussels Jewish Museum. But other than that.

Here are a few other choice moments from the Trump interview:

Earhardt: If you were to become president and were in a situation like this, what would you do to protect America?
Trump: Well, again, I think I’ve said it. I would close up our borders to people until we figure out what is going on. Look at Brussels, look at Paris, look at so many cities that were great cities.

Since Trump has already said that closing the borders would be among the first things he would do as president, then presumably they would already be closed if a situation like this occurred. So what’s his answer to the question? Close the borders harder? And there was this:

Kilmeade: The key to unwinding the issue is getting the Muslim community to trust us and the government more than they do maybe people in their own community. How do you do that?
Trump: Well you need to have, I mean you need to be very vigilant as to who you have and where they’re coming from. You have to look at people and look at their backgrounds so closely. But this is a story that seems to be more and more happening.

Did I miss something? He didn’t address at all the question of how he would get Muslims to trust the government so that they might help to prevent terror attacks. Undaunted, Kilmeade tried again:

Kilmeade: A lot of people listening right now might be misinterpreting your message, in the past and currently, that you have a problem with Muslims. You don’t have a problem with Muslims, in fact you just hired one, Walid Phares, to work for you. So how do you want to win over the trust of the Muslim community who want to be Americans, who are good citizens, and get them to oust the terrorists amongst them? How does Donald Trump do that?
Trump: Well that’s one of the things. They’re very untrusting of people other than Muslims. […] That community doesn’t believe in reporting. They know exactly what’s going on and they don’t believe in reporting to the police.

First of all, Walid Phares, a Fox News analyst, is a Christian, not a Muslim. Secondly, it was nice for Kilmeade to answer his own question for Trump on the matter of his “problem with Muslims.” But Trump’s answer once again avoided any response to the question of attaining the trust of Muslims. To the contrary, he just maligned them as willing accomplices to any terrorist act. But Kilmeade was unusually persistent:

Kilmeade: So what’s your message to them?
Trump: My message is not to them. My message to us is we better get smart and we better get smart fast.

And that’s the kind of substantive proposal that will surely put an end to terrorism for all time. Why didn’t anyone think of that sooner? A little later Trump did come up with a message for American Muslims:

Trump: My message to them is they have to be more open with police. They have to become part of the community. They have to let people know when they see people making bombs on the first floor of the apartment. They have to let people know. And they don’t do it. And then the bombs go off and the guns go off and everything happens and you have the situation like like you recently had in California. […] In my opinion this is just gonna get worse and worse because we are lax and we are foolish.

Finally, Trump addressed part of the question. He at least acknowledged that there needs to be some measure of trust between citizens and law enforcement. But he still didn’t offer any suggestions for achieving that. So Kilmeade’s colleague Ainsley Earhardt took a shot at it:

Earhardt: How do you penetrate communities like that? How do you make a difference and make change?
Trump: It’s not for us to penetrate. It’s for them to penetrate. They have to come to us. You know, we’re not the victims here. We’re acting like it’s our fault. That’s the problem with the liberal policies of this country and this world.

We’re not the victims? Does anyone know what he’s talking about? And his assertion that any penetration must be done by members of the Muslim community is downright ludicrous. It is the job of law enforcement to cultivate relations with the community. Trump thinks we should just hang around and wait until informants feel like coming forward without putting in any effort to encourage it. And then there was this:

Doocy: Let’s say you’re President of the United States today [I’d rather not, actually]. Obviously you would have cracked down on immigration to prevent what you were talking about earlier. What else would you do today?
Trump: Well, you know, I guess I would just talk to the people and give them, frankly, a pep talk. You know, we need a pep talk. We need spirit in our country, OK?

I’m not sure I have anything to say about that. Except for: Are people seriously thinking of voting for this imbecile? A PEP talk?! And Trump is just the guy to give one, he’s so positive and inspirational.

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

To put a rotting, maggot infested cherry on top of all of this, Fox’s Stuart Varney interviewed Trump’s senior policy advisor, Stephen Miller, and asked him a question that makes a mockery of the tragedy in Brussels by shamelessly politicizing it: “We’ve been saying all morning that this makes Trump look good, because he’s addressed the issue of immigration, specifically Muslim immigration. I take it you agree with that?” Good guess, Stu. And thanks for spending the morning telling your dimwitted viewers that a terrorist attack that has taken the lives of at least thirty-one people, with many more injured, is good news for Donald Trump.

Miller began his response by trying to say that political advantage ought not be a part of the discussion, but he ended saying that his candidate, Trump, had a much better take on this than Ted Cruz. Which led Varney to say:

“I don’t want to get into the nitty gritty of you vs. Cruz. I don’t want to do that. This is a solemn day. […] We’ve had an outrage in Europe which will have repercussions on our politics here in America. Stephen, one last question. I take it at the moment Donald Trump is ahead in the polls in Arizona by a substantial amount.”

Did you follow that? First Varney asks a pointedly political question. Then he admonishes his guest for giving a political answer. Then he asks another overtly political question. And with that I have to go lay down. My head is spinning. I’m sure there will be more exploitation of this sad affair as the day goes on. And surely Trump will say some more stupid crap. But I’ve had enough for now. Maybe I need a pep talk.