Trump Confirms that Fox News is State TV in Bonkers Defense of Bigotry, Pirro, Carlson, et al

Now there can be no further dispute. Donald Trump has made it absolutely clear that Fox News is unambiguously State TV, and that the Trump White (Nationalism) House is inextricably intertwined with the network’s mission of propaganda and right-wing tyranny.

Donald Trump

During Trump’s regularly scheduled Sunday Tweetstorm, the President unleashed one of his most deranged outbursts of all time. It was a sustained assault on the free press, freedom of speech, the First Amendment, and a democratic government that honors individual freedom. While Trump has always been an opponent of the media – which he refers to in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people” – he has taken his hostility to a new low that provides incontrovertible evidence that his regime and Fox News are conjoined partners in undermining the free society principles that the United States were founded on.

Trump began his Sunday sermonizing with an attack on Saturday Night Live, which he seems to be unaware was a rerun:

That’s right. The flailing Snowflake-in-Chief is now spending his time barking at comedians, even though there supposedly a “national emergency” in progress. But even worse, he thinks that his government agencies should have the power to investigate these comics due to their having the audacity to make fun of him. If he doesn’t like it, he shouldn’t give them so much material. But his inclination to use oppressive state measures to silence them should worry every patriotic American. And it wasn’t the first time he’s done this either.

What’s more, his impotent swings at SNL also include crazy allegations that the funny folks on late night TV are the ones colluding with Russia, a nation not well known for its sense of humor. And he follows that up with the false assertion that he enjoys a fifty-two percent approval rating. He got that from an ultra-biased Rasmussen poll that is now a moth old. Rasmussen currently has him at forty-eight percent, while most other polls put him the thirties.

However, if you think any of that was proof that Trump has lost his mind, you might want to sit down. Because he was just getting warmed up. His next tweets contained more of his psychotic whining about a “Witch Hunt,” followed by a personal attack on John McCain’s intelligence. How utterly repulsive for Trump to go after a dead senator/veteran who can’t defend himself. Especially for something that Trump is notably lacking in. Trump even had his “fixer” threaten his schools to keep his records secret.

Finally, Trump disgorged himself with a what could only be described as a slobbering suck-up to Fox News, the network that defends his every atrocity and maligns his critics with outright lies. What triggered Trump was the news that one of his adoring bootlickers, Jeanine Pirro, was bumped Saturday for a rerun of a tabloid documentary. While Fox wouldn’t comment on the preemption, it has been credibly speculated that they didn’t want her program to air so soon after the massacre at Muslim mosques in New Zealand, because of her recent Islamophobic comments. Based on that, Trump went to work on behalf of his bosses at Fox News:

Holy Crap! Trump is totally confirming that he and Fox News are locked in a political/governmental embrace that this country has never seen before. Not that we didn’t already know that, but Trump is shedding any pretense of independence that either of them might have sought to convey. And this comes at a time when Fox News has been trying to convince people that they are a legitimate news network capable of hosting a Democratic Party primary debate. Well, that’s blown all to hell now, isn’t it?

Trump has taken on the role of chief PR and marketing president for Fox News. And he’s offering advice that they “stay strong and fight back with vigor. Stop working soooo hard on being politically correct.” When exactly have they ever done that? Trump implores Fox to “fight for our Country,” by which he clearly means to fight for him. And he warns them to “Be strong & prosper, be weak & die!” Obviously Trump sees this as a war, and he expects casualties.

As with his own delusional perception of his approval, Trump thinks that America is on the side of Fox News. But MSNBC has been beating them regularly for several months. Rachel Maddow is crushing her competition, Sean Hannity, nearly every night. And because of the obsessive bigotry of hosts like Pirro and the disgusting Tucker Carlson, Fox News is losing audience, advertisers, and revenue at an alarming rate.

If it wasn’t enough that Trump is virtually drooling over his Fox sycophants, he also found it necessary to bash the few people on the network that have a modicum of integrity:

For the record, Shepard Smith just won a First Amendment award from the Radio Television Digital News Association. And in his speech he gave a backhanded slap at the “opinion” hosts on the network that he fervently tries to disassociate himself from. But if you aren’t a fawning Trump-fluffer you can expect him to bring his tiny “mushroom” hammer down on you.

This Twitter tirade is the best evidence yet that Fox News cannot be taken seriously as a news network. They certainly cannot be trusted to host a Democratic primary debate. They shouldn’t even be considered as a platform for interviews by anyone but devout Trumpists. If Trump thinks that crazed outbursts like this are helpful to Fox News, he is, as usual, pitifully mistaken. It only certifies that Fox is a brazenly partisan mouthpiece for Trump and his Republican Nationalist Party.

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

If Fox had any integrity they would repudiate Trump’s comments and insist that they don’t support such media bias. But don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen. Fox News knows that their audience is comprised mainly by loyal Trump cultists and they aren’t going to do anything that might alienate them or the racist white nationalists and neo-Nazis who wallow in this filth. These are the core components of their wretched business model.

Why Won’t Fox News Fire Tucker Carlson? Their Deplorable Viewers Will Watch Whoever Replaces Him

Following a week where Jane Mayer’s exhaustive New Yorker essay exposing how Fox News has transformed from a Republican mouthpiece into the propaganda arm of Donald Trump’s White House, the network is undergoing additional hardship due to its own embrace of doctrinaire hate speech.

Fox News, Tucker Carlson, Donald Trump

The primetime White Nationalist Hour of Tucker Carlson has long been a haven for bigotry dispensed by the most smugly arrogant blowhard on television. Carlson has the distinction of having been fired from three TV networks (PBS, CNN, and MSNBC). However, when he landed at Fox News (despite his previous bad blood with the network), he had truly found his TV soul mate, where he could blather incessantly about “dirty” immigrants and loving all Americans, even the Klan members.

Now Media Matters has unearthed some recordings of Carlson when he was a guest on a rather profane radio show hosted by Bubba, the Love Sponge. His rantings were among the most repulsively misogynistic tirades ever made in a public forum by a well known pundit. In the video compilation Carlson can heard blatantly defending a convicted sexual abuser and justifying child rape:

Subsequently, there has been an outcry for advertisers to boycott Fox News (which many are already doing), and for Fox to fire Tucker Carlson. For the moment, that doesn’t appear to a likely consequence of Carlson’s disgusting behavior. His response to the controversy was a brazenly unapologetic tweet that dismissed any acknowledgement of his grotesque commentaries:

“Media Matters caught me saying something naughty on a radio show more than a decade ago. Rather than express the usual ritual contrition, how about this: I’m on television every weeknight live for an hour. If you want to know what I think, you can watch. Anyone who disagrees with my views is welcome to come on and explain why.”

First of all, what Carlson said wasn’t “naughty.” It was obscene, hostile, and utterly contemptible. It was degrading and dangerous. There is no excuse for the nauseating views he disgorged over and over again. Secondly, his attempt to dismiss it as having occurred a decade ago are laughably hypocritical. He surely doesn’t have the same forgiveness for the North Carolina governor’s blackface photos in a thirty year old college yearbook. Or for the decades old philandering of Bill Clinton. Or for the forty year old remarks by Joe Biden that Carlson featured on last Friday’s show.

Finally, his suggestion that the solution to this problem is for his critics to come on his show and help boost his floundering ratings is grossly self-serving. Plus, it’s a lie that he’ll let “anyone” come on his show to confront him. His modus operandi is to entrap his guests with contrived questions of the “Have you stopped beating your wife” variety. And if they manage to get the upper hand, he interrupts them and cuts them off.

So Fox News is once again being faced with a public backlash caused by one of their noxious hosts. They are simultaneously dealing with comments by Jeanine Pirro, who delivered one of her patented teeth-gnashing, spittle-inflected assaults on Rep. Ilhan Omar that asserted she was anti-America and anti-Constitution because she’s a practicing Muslim. Fox News actually released a statement “strongly condemning” Pirro, but will likely do nothing else.

What’s funny is that they could easily fire Carlson and suffer little or no repercussions outside of the PR hit. The core Fox News audience has demonstrated through the years that they will watch whatever is on Fox, no matter what or who it is. It appears that one obnoxious, lying hate monger is the same as another. So Fox could jettison Carlson and replace him with Jason Chaffetz or Brian Kilmeade and no one would flinch. So why won’t Fox fire Tucker Carlson?

First and foremost, Fox News agrees with Carlson. The network’s mission has always been in alignment with just the sort of repellant verbal abuse that Carlson unleashed in the video above. What’s more, Rupert Murdoch has been a notoriously stubborn purveyor of right-wing media. He will hang on to failing properties for years with the expectation that sheer persistence will bring success. And he has a physical aversion to conceding that he’s ever wrong about anything.

That blind faith in always being right is something Murdoch shares with Donald Trump. And something else they share is the belief that – as Trump put it – he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any of his supporters. That appears to be the working thesis at Fox News where the carnage produced by Carlson, Pirro, and others won’t have any cost in ratings. So even though it would be easier to let Carlson go and plug in another wingnut bot, Fox will cling to his revolting personage and try to weather the storm.

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

Unfortunately for Fox News, that old method of doing business may not hold up in the future. The network has been bleeding audience, advertisers, and revenue for several months. Rachel Maddow is kicking Sean Hannity’s fat arse. And the more that Fox clutches tightly to Trump, the worse their prospects have been. So time will tell if enabling jerkwads like Carlson will pay off in the long run.

Top 10 Reasons the DNC Was Right to Refuse a Fox News Hosted Democratic Primary Debate

A few weeks ago the chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Tom Perez, was asked by Fox News anchor Bret Baier whether he would consider scheduling a Democratic Party primary debate on Fox News. Perez responded saying “Absolutely, we’re having discussions with Fox and others.” That reply was widely criticized by Democrats appalled at the notion of rewarding the propaganda arm of the Trump White House with that kind of opportunity to continue their campaign of political sabotage.

Fox News Sad

However, after the publication of Jane Mayer’s article in the New Yorker that detailed the all-consuming embrace between Donald Trump and Fox News, it appears that Perez has had a wise and welcome change of heart. He now says that:

“I believe that a key pathway to victory is to continue to expand our electorate and reach all voters. That is why I have made it a priority to talk to a broad array of potential media partners, including Fox News. Recent reporting in the New Yorker on the inappropriate relationship between President Trump, his administration and Fox News has led me to conclude that the network is not in a position to host a fair and neutral debate for our candidates. Therefore, Fox News will not serve as a media partner for the 2020 Democratic primary debates.”

That decision should have been an easy one from the start. Fox News has not made a secret of it’s prejudices. They spend twenty-four hours a day promoting Trump as the savior of America, shielding him from any and all criticism, and viciously maligning Democrats and others who dare to challenge Trump’s divine right to absolute power.

It’s tempting to invoke analogies about putting foxes in charge of hen houses, but that’s way too easy. It would have to also include hiring Colonel Sanders to run the operation. And if anyone isn’t convinced that Fox News is unfit to produce an impartial and nonpartisan debate program, here are some recent segments that Fox has aired that reveal the extremities of their bias:

  1. Fox News accuses Democrats of advocating infanticide.
  2. Fox News brazenly lies to smear Democrats on a mission of mercy to reduce global poverty.
  3. Sean Hannity of Fox News thinks Americans shouldn’t ever see the Mueller report on Trump.
  4. Trump confirms that Fox News shills are his chief influencers.
  5. Fox News refused to run an ad for an Oscar-nominated anti-Nazi documentary.
  6. Tucker Carlson of Fox News insists that there was ‘no collusion’ between Trump and Russia because there just wasn’t any.
  7. Fox News Fails to see any Russian collusion in Roger Stone’s indictment.
  8. Fox News compares Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Hitler and Stalin in unhinged rant.
  9. Fox News airs Ruth Bader Ginsburg obituary graphic.
  10. Fox News hosts blatantly push him to declare a national emergency over his border wall funding.

Can anyone make a credible case for the network that spews those lies and slander to host a debate by the party they have been unambiguously trying to destroy? Well, Fox News senior vice president Bill Sammon can. He said that:

“We hope the DNC will reconsider its decision to bar Chris Wallace, Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, all of whom embody the ultimate journalistic integrity and professionalism, from moderating a Democratic presidential debate. They’re the best debate team in the business and they offer candidates an important opportunity to make their case to the largest TV news audience in America, which includes many persuadable voters.”

There is so much in there that is just plain nonsense. To begin with, it’s already been established that “journalistic integrity and professionalism” is nonexistent on Fox News. They do not have “the largest TV news audience in America.” In fact, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC has beaten her competition, Sean Hannity, nearly every night for four straight months. And Fox’s audience is the least persuadable bunch of right-wing cult worshipers in TV land. They are more reliably Republican voters than even members of the GOP. There simply isn’t a significant number of Fox News viewers who will ever vote for a Democrat.

Nevertheless, Fox News still believes that they should get a chance to host a Democratic debate. Despite being a network whose hosts and contributors have universally banded together to disparage special counsel Robert Mueller – an American hero who has devoted his entire life to public service – as a corrupt, conflicted, Stalinist, traitor to America. They remain silent when Trump calls the media “the enemy of the people.” creating an environment that encourages censorship and violence. They have advised Trump to act illegally by ignoring judicial rulings and issuing executive orders that violate the Constitution. And no one on Fox said a word when Trump declared that he knows – and could name – Democrats in Congress who hate America.

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

Does that sound like a network that should be allowed to host a debate by members of the party that they are railing against in the most despicable terms? Obviously Perez came to his senses by nixing Fox as a debate host. And if anyone thinks that it’s discriminatory, just remember that Trump has already nixed the networks that he doesn’t like. While he has give more than forty interviews to Fox News, he has given zero to CNN and MSNBC. And he is supposed to be the president of all the people, not just the GOP/Trump-friendly ones he finds at Fox News. The Democratic Party has no such obligation. And they certainly have no obligation to present themselves to their sworn enemies for an orchestrated political assault.

UPDATE: Naturally Trump weighed in on this via Twitter:

Which is funny, because he actually boycotted a Fox News debate himself. It was because he didn’t like Megyn Kelly who was one of the moderators. Now he’s all verklempt because Democrats don’t want to legitimize a network that does nothing but insult them.

Also, Trump has already done the same thing. He’s given 40+ interviews to Fox and zero to CNN and MSNBC. What’s more, most Americans would love it if he boycotted debates not on Fox. The less of him, the better.

The Fox News Fetish for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Just Keeps Getting Creepier: Ivanka Trump Edition

Ever since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was elected last November, the right-wing media has been beside themselves trying to slander her as an ignorant and un-American little brown girl who has no business having an opinion, much less serving in Congress. And no one has been more determined to disseminate this disparagement than Fox News.

Fox News, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson

Consequently, the State TV network reached out to Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, to deliver the administration’s smackdown on Ocasio-Cortez. Unfortunately, her interview merely revealed that she is a spoiled rich kid with no comprehension of what ordinary Americans are experiencing. She tried to respond to Ocasio-Cortez’s announcement that she intended to pay her staff a {gasp} living wage. Previously on Fox News this was greeted with a pathetic display of math illiteracy. And Ivanka’s response was equally embarrassing:

“I don’t think most Americans, in their heart, want to be given something. I’ve spent a lot of time traveling around this country over the last 4 years. People want to work for what they get. So, I think that this idea of a guaranteed minimum is not something most people want.”

So a woman who has lived her entire life off of what she was given by daddy is certain that other Americans wouldn’t want fair compensation for their work, which is all that Ocasio-Cortez is proposing. If this is what Ivanka learned from four years of traveling around the country, she has a severe learning disability. But she does have an excellent grasp of the sort of harebrained talking points required to be a Fox News pundit.

The obsession that Fox News is nursing every day is evidence that Ocasio-Cortez is one of the new class of representatives who Fox fears the most. There is no other explanation for how maniacally focused they are on her. She was only sworn in a month and a half ago, but Fox’s most prominent hosts are fixated squarely on her every word (as well as her youth, clothes, and dancing ability). The entire primetime roster on Fox all featured her on their programs Monday night. They were also transcribed into op-eds for the Fox website. The amusingly alarmist headlines and ledes were:

  • Sean Hannity: It’s scary how prominent Dems, the media are supporting Ocasio-Cortez and her socialist views.
    “We are once again featuring the 29-year-old socialist from New York who is both revered and feared inside her own party. […] But now, she is taking her insane views even a step further.”
  • Laura Ingraham: Spike Lee, Smollett, Ocasio-Cortez and her mini-mes tell us lots about modern day liberalism.
    “Like most of today’s social justice warriors, Ocasio-Cortez truly believes she is always morally right. And that notion entitles her to be one of the leaders of not the #MeToo movement, but the ‘Me-me-me’ movement.”
  • Tucker Carlson: How dumb, arrogant Ocasio-Cortez became the boss of the Democratic Party
    “It’s a measure of how cowardly impassive everyone has become all of a sudden that a chorus of right-thinking Democrats hasn’t told this idiotic windbag to be quiet and take a seat.”

These are the extreme, unhinged, and disrespectful lengths that the Foxies will go to in order to malign a committed, intelligent young woman who stepped up to serve her country. And the fear that she has stirred in their shriveled hearts is unmistakable. This is the sort of full-court press that the right generally reserves for Kenyan-born, terrorist-sympathizing, Muslim atheist commies who stole the presidency by actually getting a majority of the popular vote.

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

Ocasio-Cortez has earned this vitriol in record time. She should be proud that she has these dimwits from Fox News stalking her. It’s a validation of her effectiveness as an activist and a communicator. And at the same time it exposes Fox as a puerile confederacy of dunces who are utterly incapable of making a coherent response to someone they belittle as immature and inexperienced. Which, by the way, is a much better description of their Dear Leader, Donald Trump.

Trump Confirms that Fox News Shills Are His Chief Influencers in Psycho ‘National Emergency’ Speech

It’s official. The most aggressively biased Fox News propagandists are acting as Donald Trump’s primary advisors on the question of a “national emergency” to fund his precious vanity wall, as well as a host of other issues. In a Rose Garden address, the President cited the entire primetime roster on Fox News when asked about which conservative voices shape his views.

Donald Trump, Fox News

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention. Trump is known to consult his “braintrust” at Fox News frequently, even in nightly phone calls with Sean Hannity before bedtime. In fact, it was Hannity who gave the order for Trump to declare a national emergency in the first place. So when Trump stepped out onto the White House lawn to announce that he would sign the bipartisan congressional bill to fund the government – despite the fact that it contained no money for a wall – he answered an inquiry about the right-wing pundits he is known to rely on without hesitation or shame (video below):

Kelly O’Donnell, NBC News: Mr. President, could you tell us to what degree some of the outside conservative voices helped to shape your views on this national emergency?

Trump: Look, I would talk about it. Look, Sean Hannity has been a terrific, terrific support of what I do. Not of me. If I change my views he wouldn’t be with me. Rush Limbaugh, I think he’s a great guy. He can speak for three hours without a phone call. Try doing that sometime. For three hours he speaks. He’s got one of the biggest audiences in the history of world. I mean this guy is unbelievable.”

Of course, Hannity would withdraw his support if Trump didn’t continue to advance the same radically rightist views that Hannity holds. That’s the whole point. And it’s why Trump doesn’t change his views. He fears losing Hannity’s support, and that of the Fox News Deplorables who are glued to him and the rest of the network’s crackpots. And it’s predictable that Trump admires Limbaugh’s ability to ramble on incoherently for hours on end. It’s a “skill” that they share. Then Trump continued:

Trump: They don’t decide policy. In fact, if I went opposite…I mean they have somebody, Ann Coulter, I don’t know her. I hardly know her. I haven’t spoken to her in way over a year. But the press loves saying Ann Coulter. Probably if I did speak to her she’d be very nice. I just don’t have the time to speak to her. I would speak to her. I have nothing against her. In fact I like her for one reason. When they asked her like right at the beginning, ‘Who’s gonna wing the election? Donald Trump.’ And the two people that asked her that question smiled.

So Trump doesn’t know Ann Coulter. Well, except for his admission that he has spoken to her during his presidency. And the fact that she has appeared with him at his rallies. And he claims that she is one of his conservative critics, but then cites her prediction that he would become president as the one reason he likes her. Then he went on:

Trump: Laura’s been great, Laura Ingraham. Tucker Carlson’s been great. I actually have a couple of people on CNN that have been very good. I have some on MSNBC the other day. They did a great report on me. I say ‘Where the hell did that come from?’ I think it was the only one in over a year.

And there you have it. Trump filled in the rest of the Fox News primetimers, all of whom he praised as being “great” because they are such constantly slobbering sycophants. As for the MSNBC segment, he actually tweeted about that last week, but included a video clip that was deceitfully edited to cut out the criticism and to make it appear as if it was wholly positive.

Trump’s speech was predictably deranged as he stumbled from one topic to another without any connecting logic. It was a smorgasbord of his unhinged rants that are familiar to anyone who has seen him at his cult rallies. He even did a childish, sing-song style bit about how he expects the legal challenges to his emergency declaration to go down. This performance was, in fact, sufficient to justify the reported considerations by former FBI official, Andrew McCabe, to remove Trump from office via the 25th Amendment for being mentally unfit to serve. But then, we already knew that.

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 Parrots Trump’s ‘No Collusion’ Mantra in the Stupidest Way Imaginable

The competition for “The Stupidest Person on Fox News” is always a heated affair with way too many deserving candidates. With people like like Sean Hannity (a perennial leader, but ratings loser), Laura Ingraham, Steve Doocy, Lou Dobbs, Jeanine Pirro, etc., in the running, it’s may be impossible to name a single winner. But if anyone holds the inside track it’s usually Tucker Carlson.

Fox News, Tucker Carlson

On Tuesday Donald Trump caved in again to his superior, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, over the funding for his idiotic vanity wall along the southern border. The deal that the bipartisan committee in Congress hammered out actually allocates less money to the wall than the deal Trump rejected before his shutdown. So in an effort to draw attention away from yet another example of his pitiful negotiating skills, Trump went back to his whining about the numerous investigations of his criminality that are in progress. He tweeted this on Wednesday:

Of course that tweet, like almost everything Trump says, is totally false. The Senate Intelligence Committee did not make the statement that Trump is attributing to them. It was just the opinion of Sen. Richard Burr, the Republican chair of the committee. The Democrats disputed Burr’s opinion on its face and noted that their probe is not even complete. What’s more, Burr didn’t even say that there is “no evidence of collusion.” He said that he hadn’t seen any “direct” evidence. Which leaves plenty of room for circumstantial evidence or the simple fact that they had not seen the volumes of evidence that special counsel Robert Mueller has.

Naturally, Trump isn’t interested in the complexities of the truth. His mission is to simplify and distort everything to the point where his dimwitted Deplorables can be fooled into thinking he’s winning. He previously tweeted a “Thank You” note to MSNBC for airing a segment that reported Burr’s comments. But Trump cut off the video just before it went into the detail that exposed the very real legal jeopardy that Trump faces.

Enter Tucker Carlson. It won’t surprise anyone that Carlson acted out his sycophantic infatuation with Trump as he always does. He agreed with Trump’s mistaken comments about the Senate committee’s non-conclusion. And he went into great (but malformed) detail to make his point. He insisted that, according to the Senate committee “There is no evidence whatsoever that the Trump campaign conspired in any way with the government of Vladimir Putin during the last presidential election.” As noted above, none of that is true. But what makes Carlson’s suck-up a candidate for awards in stupidity is how he frames his phony argument:

“If you’ve been following the story at all, and of course you have been, you will not be surprised by this. “No Russian collusion” is a lot like the moon landing actually happened, or the abominable snowman was probably a long-haired mountain goat. You knew that already because you are not an idiot.”

So Carlson is arguing that the proof that there was no collusion is that it’s self-evident, that that’s just the way it is and everyone knows it. Never mind all the indictments, convictions, and disclosures of secret meetings with Russians by dozens of Trump associates. You just know it couldn’t be and, therefore, it wasn’t.

And here is where the dumbness becomes Olympic-grade. Carlson later quotes former Navy intelligence officer, Malcolm Nance, saying on MSNBC that there was no direct evidence implicating Benedict Arnold in treason, but that “everyone knew it was treason when they caught the man.” Carlson found this out-of-context soundbite so absurd that he repeated three times. And not once in those repetitions did he realize that he was ridiculing exactly the same reliance on something being self-evident that he relied on himself a few minutes earlier. He apparently has the attention span of brain-damaged gnat.

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

What’s really disturbing is that this is precisely the sort of logical malfunction that works so well among Trump’s cult followers and Fox News viewers. They won’t catch the obvious contradictions or cognitive failures that define the right’s crackpot ideology in the Era of Trump. But they will follow along blindly with whatever their Dear Leader and his State TV surrogates tell them is the truth. Which makes one wonder whether their stupidity is even worse than that of Carlson, Fox News, and Trump.

Fox News Primetime Shows are Bleeding Audience, Advertisers, and Revenue Due to Excessive Assholery

The news just keeps getting worse for Donald Trump’s favorite television network. Over the past three months Fox News has been thrashed in the Nielsen ratings by MSNBC, particularly by Rachel Maddow who has topped her competition, Sean Hannity, almost every night since the November midterm election.

Fox News, Titanic

Now TheWrap is reporting that Hannity’s primetime colleagues have problems of their own. Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham have both been the targets of advertiser boycotts as a result of commentaries that were especially loathsome. Not that their regular topics don’t routinely offend decent people. But even these weasels can cross lines that are impossible to ignore:

“According to an analysis for TheWrap by advertising data firm Standard Media Index, Fox News’ 10 p.m. slot, hosted by Ingraham, was down at least $16 million in ad revenue in 2018. Carlson’s show, which airs at 8 p.m., has lost another $2.2 million thanks to an ad boycott that began in December after he said mass immigration makes the U.S. ‘poorer, and dirtier, and more divided.'”

Tucker Carlson’s flagrant white nationalism has become a staple of his nightly program. It’s unconscionable that any advertisers continue to support him. But the exodus of ads has definitely proven to be more than a temporary setback. Carlson is currently is running about half of the ads he had prior to the boycott. And they have been replaced by unpaid Fox promos and public service announcements.

Laura Ingraham’s problems began after she attacked the survivors of the Parkland, Florida high school shooting. These are kids who suffered a nightmare that no one should ever face, but who Ingraham considered fair game for even more abuse. She is also notorious for her racist and elitist views, such as when she said that basketball legend and philanthropist LeBron James should shut up and dribble.” Now her advertisers have also been cut in half.

Fox News is standing behind their repugnant hosts. They insist that they will not be bullied by lefties like Media Matters and Sleeping Giants. What’s more, they contend that they haven’t lost any revenue as a result of these boycotts because the ads were merely “shifted to other dayparts.” That’s an outright lie. It would mean that the other programs had unsold ad inventory that these ads could be slipped into. But even if they do, that means they still lost money because they were only replacing one ad for another. Additionally, an ad in primetime costs much more than other dayparts, so such shifting would require those ads to be discounted.

And that’s not all. With MSNBC taking the number one spot in most of the primetime cable news market, Fox News would have to lower their ad rates because advertisers aren’t going pay a premium for a number two network. And with that change in leadership comes an even bigger problem for Fox. Like every cable channel, Fox News makes most of its profits through licensing fees from cable system operators. They currently have a very lucrative contract that was negotiated at the height of their ratings success. Now that they are no longer the leader, those contracts will decline in value when they are up for renewal.

All of this is due to Fox’s determination to advance a radical right-wing agenda and to serve as the State TV mouthpiece for Donald Trump. It’s an unsustainable business model as the nation wakes up from its temporary lapse in judgement and rejects Trump and the sycophantic, cult-like GOP that he commandeered.

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

The midterm election that produced a historic shift in party control in the House of Representatives was just the beginning. And as the legal consequences of Trump’s criminal and treasonous activities unfold, Fox is going to find itself in ever deeper trenches of muck. That’s surely not going boost their bottom line.

Rachel Maddow Leads MSNBC to a January Freeze-Out of Sean Hannity and State TV (aka Fox News)

The new year has started off with big bang for MSNBC and its star anchor Rachel Maddow. For the past couple months her program has been smothering her Fox News competition, Sean Hannity. It began immediately after the midterm election on November 6th and hasn’t slowed down since. And January’s results confirm that it was no fluke. Maddow has definitely caught fire and her sharp analysis and engaging manner of unfolding complex subjects is clearly winning over viewers.

Rachel Maddow, Sean Hannity

Some of the highlights from the January Nielsen ratings include that Maddow was the number one non-sports show on all of cable, not just just news programming. She dominated in both total audience and the advertiser friendly 25-54 demographic. Her success helped drive up the performance of her primetime colleagues Lawrence O’Donnell and Brian Williams. In fact, that bloc of programming won every hour for the entire month.

Maddow’s show contributed to MSNBC’s impressive audience growth. It gained fourteen percent in total day, and six percent in prime time versus January 2018. During the same time period Fox News declined significantly. It’s total day viewership was down eleven percent. In primetime Fox News lost ten percent. And those numbers were even worse for in the 25-54 demo: down twenty-one percent total day, and twenty percent in the demo.

Almost as satisfying as Maddow’s success is the failure of Fox’s Sean Hannity. Once the unchallenged cable news champ, Hannity’s total ratings crashed nineteen percent since the midterms in November. His fall in the demo was a massive thirty percent. His Fox News lead-in, Tucker Carlson, didn’t fare any better. He was Fox’s top program, but he trailed Maddow by seventeen percent in total audience, and by nineteen percent in the demo. It’s a relief to know that America’s television viewers are recognizing the hatred and racism that emanates from the likes of Carlson and Hannity and are changing the channel.

What’s more, Carlson and Laura Ingraham are suffering from an advertiser exodus due to their offensive positions. Carlson mainly for his open advocacy of white nationalism. And Ingraham for her attacks on the kids from Parkland, Florida, who survived the school shooting last year. So their shows are not only losing viewers, but they aren’t making any money either.

In addition to the solid wins by Maddow, there was good news in January’s numbers for the rest of the MSNBC roster. The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell and The 11th Hour with Brian Williams were both number one in both total audience and the demo. Morning Joe rose fourteen percent while its competition, Fox and Friends, sunk ten percent. Hardball was number one in total viewers. And the programs hosted by Chris Hayes, Ari Melber, Stephanie Ruhle, Hallie Jackson, Craig Melvin, Andrea Mitchell, Ali Velshi, and Katy Tur all posted record numbers. One particular standout was Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace, which was number one in total viewers, beating perennial Fox News host Neil Cavuto.

The days of Fox News dominating the cable news ratings are definitely over. And thanks for that should go to Rachel Maddow for redefining how a successful news program can be produced. She does not follow the daily tweetstorming of the President, and never hosts panels of belligerent partisans yelling over each other. She presents detailed examinations of serious issues in an honest and accessible way, and respects her audience.

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

But some thanks should also go to Donald Trump for behaving like a loathsome cretin whose flagrant lies are driving away whatever few rational thinkers are still left watching Fox News. Those who remain are the barrel-bottom crud who enjoy wallowing in ignorance and will never be pried loose from their cult worship.

Donald Trump Just Made a Fantastic Argument Against Building His Idiotic Border Wall

Well, it took thirty-five days and cost about six billion dollars, and incalculable personal suffering, but the Trump Shutdown is now over (temporarily). To say that Donald Trump caved is putting it mildly. He folded like a counterfeit three dollar bill under pressure from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (who he calls “Nancy”). And true to form, he emerged from the White House to declare victory in an impotent display of pathetic groveling and forced bluster.

Donald Trump

During Trump’s concession speech he revealed another repulsive side of himself as he admitted that the purpose of his wall is to hurt already suffering refugees by killing any “glimmer of hope” they might have for safety and freedom. And on Saturday morning he followed that up with a Twitter tantrum that was rife with callousness and delusion. This tweetstorm featured one posting that stood out as being a pretty darn good argument against the vanity wall that Trump has been so obsessed with:

So if we have already turned away two “caravans” of asylum seekers, then why do we need to spend billions of dollars on a wall that most experts say will be useless? The next caravan can be handled exactly the way the previous two were, without the expense or the pain associated with shutting down the government in an infantile rage.

Trump has actually admitted that our current ability to secure the border is perfectly adequate. There can be no credible argument that there is anything resembling an emergency at the border. So his yappy whining has no purpose other than to salve his ego. But he won’t let that stop him:

Let’s set aside Trump’s deranged assertion that he didn’t concede. The larger point he is making here is that he finally recognizes that the shutdown he was proud to impose was actually causing great harm and misery to millions of innocent people. But in the same sentence he callously threatens to do it all over again, unconcerned about inflicting more pain. He’s like the bully who uses his victim’s hand to slap his own face while taunting “Why do you keep shutting down yourself? Why do you keep shutting down yourself?”

This isn’t the first time that Trump’s argument for his wall has backfired on him. While his original campaign promise was that Mexico would pay for wall, he has failed utterly to bring that about. Instead, he has since insisted that the wall is being paid for by several different means in addition to Mexico, including: It would pay for itself, presumably by reducing unspecified expenditures on law enforcement; The new trade deal between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, which has nothing to do with wall funding as all the financial benefits of such a deal go to private industry; And the American taxpayer from whom he is currently demanding payment under threat of shutting down our government or declaring an unconstitutional national emergency.

So that’s four different payments for the same wall. How is that not a con game that would land anyone else in jail? Especially since the wall isn’t needed in the first place as Trump has now conceded on Twitter. And along with that concession, Trump has provided a couple of tweeted endorsements that are as phony as a con man’s paid shills. The first is by Fox News regular Matt Schlapp, who also happens to be married to Mercedes Schlapp, the White House Director of Strategic Communications. And the second is a video produced by the Daily Caller News Foundation, which is run by Fox News host Tucker Carlson. So these are hardly independent affirmations of Trump’s wall fetish.

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

The more Trump talks and/or tweets, the less Democrats need to make the case against Trump’s wall. He’s doing a mighty fine job of that all by himself. And the last person who would be surprised by that is special counsel Robert Mueller, who has seen Trump’s public statements as some of the most incriminating pieces of evidence against him, particularly with regard to obstruction of justice. This is just how Trump operates. He is so consumed by his narcissism that he truly believes that everything he says is brilliant and furthers his objectives. By the time he finds out how wrong he is, it will be too late.

Elizabeth Warren Slams the Fox News ‘Echo Chamber’ of ‘Fear and Hate’ in Presidential Campaign Video

On the precipice of a new year, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has released a video (below) announcing that she is forming an exploratory committee to test the waters for a prospective presidential campaign. She is the first of what will likely be a big pool of Democratic hopefuls seeking to cast out Donald Trump in 2020 – if he makes it that far (Mueller?).

Elizabeth Warren, Fox News

Notable in her video was the fact that she didn’t mention Trump’s name once. That will surely drive him nuts. There’s nothing he craves more than hearing his own name in pretty much any context. But she concentrated on bread-and-butter issues of importance to America’s middle class families. For instance, she laid out a platform that directly addresses the threat of corporatism and income inequality:

“I spent my career getting to the bottom of why America’s promise works for some families, but others who work just as hard slip through the cracks into disaster. And what I found was terrifying. These aren’t cracks that families are falling into. They’re traps. America’s middle class is under attack. How did we get here? Billionaires and big corporations decided they wanted more of the pie.”

Warren went on to link the political class to the problems that Americans are experiencing. She noted that the one-percenters “enlisted politicians [and] crippled unions.” to achieve their self-serving goals. And she pointedly stated that “Today corruption is poisoning our democracy.” She may not have said Trump’s name, but he was ever-present in her remarks.

It was also encouraging to see that Warren wasn’t shy about holding Fox News accountable for their contribution to the decline of Western Civilization. She took on the wealthy elites and Fox News saying forthrightly that:

“The whole scam is propped up by an echo chamber of fear and hate designed to distract and divide us.”

While she spoke those words there were images of Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Fox and Friends, and Laura Ingraham prominently displayed. She got in the whole primetime lineup, plus Trump’s favorite Fox News morning show.

This is the kind of fearless honesty that will be needed to beat Trump (or whatever GOP hack runs in his place) in 2020. You can rest assured that Fox News will there to advance the lies and hostility of the Republican agenda and defeat the champions of unfettered democracy who are fighting for the welfare of the majority of American citizens.

The Trump presidency has shown us that the GOP couldn’t care less about ordinary people, honest representation, or the rule of law. But it has also shown us that there are voters who are susceptible to flagrant deception and who are willing – even eager – to be lied to. They are the rubes that Fox News is designed to corral into the GOP camp. And the rest of us need to be alert and engaged in order to preserve our country and the democracy that it pioneered.

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