CANCEL CULTure: Turning the Trump Driven Outrage at Fox News Up to Eleven

Look out Fox News. The MAGAts are coming for you and they are boiling mad. For much of his presidency Donald Trump has been blowing hot and cold over Fox News. He would whine pitifully whenever they published a poll showing how much America despised him, or if they dared to interview a Democrat. The next moment he would post a half dozens videos of his favorite hosts dutifully praising him or maligning his critics.

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Donald Trump, Fox News

This schizophrenic dysfunction by Trump must have been confusing for his simple-minded but adoring cult followers. Trump was simultaneously directing them to watch Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, while ordering them to switch to Newsmax or OANN because “Fox News Sucks.” The mental toll of this contradictory guidance has resulted in an exodus of viewers from Fox News. For much of the post-election viewing, CNN has risen to the top of the cable news heap and Newsmax has tripled its audience.

Meanwhile, long time Fox News fanatics have been vowing never to watch the network again, with the notable exception of Tucker Carlson, the only one they still trust to articulate their exclusionary (i.e. racist) views. But Carlson’s immunity has been eradicated by a recent segment wherein he dared to ask a Trump lawyer, Sidney Powell, for proof of her ludicrous and unfounded accusations of election fraud:

Carlson has been getting some undeserved credit for taking on Powell after her hysterical press conference with Rudy Giuliani. The two of them floated some of the most ridiculous allegations of election “irregularities,” including fringe conspiracy theories about votes being tabulated in Germany and Spain with software made in Venezuela. No doubt they will eventually tie in George Soros and Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Update: Powell has been thrown under the Trump bus due to her crazy talk, which isn’t really any crazier than anything Giuliani or the rest of these goofballs have said.

But Carlson’s request for proof was half hearted at best. He meekly asked her to come on his show and present evidence of her allegations, which she refused to do. But that didn’t stop him from continuing to push the very same baseless theories for which he faulted her. In fact, on his program the following night he went a step further. Carlson asserted that he and anonymous sources (which apparently Fox News now approves of) in the White House are in agreement about imaginary election fraud:

“Like us, they have concluded that this election was not fair. Like us, they are willing to believe any explanation for what happened. Like us, they have not seen any single piece of evidence showing that software changed votes. Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. It might have happened. It means they haven’t seen any evidence that it happened. And by ‘they’ we are including other members of Donald Trump’s own legal team.”

The entirety of Carlson’s argument is that the absence of any evidence of fraud doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. By the same logic, the absence of any evidence that Carlson is not the reanimated corpse of Adolf Hitler doesn’t mean that he isn’t. He might be. There just isn’t any evidence of it (well, except for his arrogant demagoguery and noxious white supremacism). What Carlson wants his dimwitted viewers to believe is that anything, no matter how preposterous, can be true if there isn’t explicit evidence to refute it. By extension, he’s arguing that the absence of evidence of fraud is proof of fraud.

Carlson went on to say that he would consider it “great news” if evidence of election fraud emerged. He said that “no one would be more grateful for that than us.” He’s actually rooting for fraud. He’s virtually drooling at the thought of it. That’s because there is no other way for him to keep advocating for the election to be overturned and the votes of nearly 80 million people invalidated. His mission is to support Trump’s coup attempt and retain power at the expense of democracy.

So Carlson had a fleeting moment of rationality in asking for evidence of fraud. But his core state of smug and unprincipled self-interest remains in tact. As does his unflinching loyalty to Trumpism. And yet he is still the victim of glassy-eyed MAGAts who are always poised to betray anyone they think wanders too far from the reach of Dear Leader. Which, in the end, will be a good thing as their zealous adherence to the Trump cult dogma splinters their coalition and hangs former allies like Fox News out to dry.

NOTE: News Corpse was notified by Twitter recently that its account would be suspended for repeated violations of their rules. Which is strange because it has never been cited for a single violation in 11 years and they didn’t even identify this alleged violation. They just bounced the account and its 7,000 followers. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from this website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. Thanks for your support.

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

Messiah Complex? Fox News on Why Trump Got COVID-19: ‘He’s Doing It For Us’

The cult worship of Donald Trump by his ardent and dimwitted disciples has long been a troubling indicator of the iron grip he has on America’s Most Wretched. However, that confederacy of dunces has nothing on the Trump-fluffing propagandists at Fox News, whose devotion to Dear Leader is unwavering and resolute. There is literally nothing that Trump can do or say that won’t trigger unbridled reverence from the Fox hole.

Donald Trump Messiah

Evidence of this glassy-eyed adoration can be seen in Friday’s episode of The Five on Fox News. During a segment on Trump having tested positive for the coronavirus, co-host Greg Gutfeld sought to explain how this was a selfless act of sacrifice by an unparalleled humanitarian whose only interest was the welfare of others. But his commentary devolved into a sermon that characterized Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis as akin to the crucifixion of Christ (video below):

“He didn’t hide from the virus. And the reason why he didn’t hide from the virus is he didn’t want America to hide from the virus. If he was going to ask America to get back to work, right? To get back to work and experience a risk, he was going to do the same thing.” […]

“He had to walk that walk. He had to do that. He could have scared the crap out of everybody but he refused, and it goes back to his original point about trying to make sure the positive attitude is maintained along with a sense of concern. So he took the risk, he got the virus, but it’s because he was — he was doing it for us.”

And there you have it. Trump was willing to die for our sins, so that we may have eternal life. Gutfeld doesn’t accept the more logical explanation that Trump was just reckless about rejecting the safety and health guidelines of his own medical experts. Gutfeld doesn’t fault Trump for refusing to wear face masks or engage in social distancing. In the world of Fox News not only did Trump do nothing wrong, he went beyond any reasonable expectations of charity and courage to offer himself as atonement for the sins of us peasants.

In the real world, Trump’s negligent behavior is responsible for the deaths of more than 208,000 Americans, not mention a total of some seven million cases, many of which will result in permanent disabilities. Gutfeld and his Fox News comrades fail to make that obvious connection. In fact, some of his colleagues are making similarly abhorrent remarks that lavish praise on Trump or defend him from criticism. For instance:

Laura Ingraham gushed, “So while you’re recovering, Mr. President, don’t worry. We’ll take up the slack because you fought for us.” That’s true so long as what Ingraham means is that Trump “fought for us” and our families to get sick and die. He certainly never fought to preserve life or control the pandemic.

Tucker Carlson managed to construct one of the most offensive similes ever by associating criticism of Trump with sexual assault. Carlson falsely asserted that lefty Trump critics were saying essentially that Trump “asked for it. He was dressed provocatively.” So according to Carlson, observing correctly that rejecting masks makes it more likely that the virus would spread, is the same thing as justifying rape because the of the victim’s attire.

WTF is wrong with these cretins? They are not only taking sides against science and the practices that could actually mitigate the suffering and loss caused by a deadly pandemic, but instead they are celebrating the callous and dangerous agenda that Trump has pursued and that has produced nothing but misery. And they are doing all of that in the most nauseating way imaginable. Which for Fox News – and Trump – is really just business as usual.

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

Fox News Court Ruling: No ‘Reasonable Viewer’ Takes Tucker Carlson Seriously

The reputation of Fox News has long been a tattered quilt of purposeful dishonesty and overtly partisan right-wing bias. And the last four years has seen Fox go even deeper into the Mariana Trench of propaganda on behalf of Donald Trump, whose authoritarian aspirations demand unflinching loyalty and obedience.

Fox News, Tucker Carlson, Donald Trump

Now Fox News has affirmed their role as Trump’s Ministry of Disinformation in a court ruling that relied on the rather bizarre argument that their top rated prime time host, Tucker Carlson, can’t be taken seriously. That, of course, has been starkly evident to anyone with a functioning frontal cortex, but this ruling cements it in a legal decision that rests on Fox’s own arguments.

Carlson, one of Fox’s most prolific liars, was being sued for defamation by Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who was paid $150,000 by the National Enquirer on behalf of Trump in order to buy her silence about their sexual affair. Subsequently, Carlson did frequent stories aiming to discredit McDougal and defend Trump. In the course of those stories Carlson accused McDougal of “extorting” Trump and made representations that he asserted were “undisputed facts.” The only problem is that they were easily disputed and not remotely factual.

This week a court ruled in favor of Fox News citing their claim that Carlson “cannot be understood to have been stating facts, but instead that he was delivering an opinion using hyperbole for effect.” The ruling went on to state that “given Mr. Carlson’s reputation, any reasonable viewer ‘arrive[s] with an appropriate amount of skepticism’ about the statements he makes.”

In other words, Carlson is a known liar whose commentaries can be dismissed out of hand as the ravings of an unhinged crackpot. The court concludes that someone with such a pronounced reputation for dishonesty is incapable of defamation because who, other than a complete imbecile, would believe him?

The problem with the “reasonable viewer” standard is that it mistakenly assumes that Carlson has any reasonable viewers. His audience is made up of just the sort of imbeciles who buy into his fallacious babbling. Consequently, defamation is a plausible, almost certain result of Carlson’s unambiguously malicious attacks on McDougal. And therein lies the grounds for McDougal’s appeal.

In the meantime, Fox can no longer pretend that their network provides factual presentations of the news. Not after their lawyer won a defamation suit by arguing that their presenters are clowns performing for an audience that hasn’t yet reached the emotional maturity of stunted adolescents.

As if to confirm his flagrant falsifications, Carlson did a segment Thursday night that brazenly distorted reality to advance a conspiracy theory promoted by Trump about mail-in voting. None of the alleged “facts” presented by Carlson were verifiable. And when Trump tweeted a link to the segment, Twitter slapped a warning on the tweet alerting readers to where they could “Learn how voting by mail is safe and secure.”

Now, anytime someone cites a Fox News reporter as their source, they can be swiftly dismissed for believing the garbage that a court of law ruled “cannot be understood to have been stating facts.” In fact, Fox should be regarded in much the same manner that Carlson once described Trump. “Donald Trump is a salesman,” Carlson began. “He’s a talker, a boaster, a booster, a compulsive self-promoter. At times, he’s a full-blown BS artist.” That may be the one thing that Carlson ever got right.

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

Racist President Trump Terminates Federal Anti-Racism Programs

This has been another terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week for Donald Trump. It began with a string of post-convention polls that show Joe Biden increasing his lead over Trump nationally, as well as in most of the critical battleground states. And it ended with an article that exposed his repugnant comments about fallen American soldiers being “losers” and “suckers,” which even Fox News independently affirmed.

Donald Trump, MAGA

Consequently, Trump has revved up his outrage in a desperate effort to change the subject to one he believes would be more favorable to him. But once again, he’s blown it completely.

On Saturday morning Trump unleashed a 20+ tweet barrage about an issue that is wholly an invention of his perverse imagination. It began with his ordering the White House Office of Management and Budget to terminate what it says are un-American training sessions on “critical race theory.” The memo written by OMB Direct Russel Vought began…

“It has come to the President’s attention that Executive Branch agencies have spent millions of taxpayer dollars to date ‘training’ government workers to believe divisive, anti-American propaganda.

“For example, according to press reports, employees across the Executive Branch have been required to attend trainings where they are told that “virtually all White people contribute to racism” or where they are required to say that they “benefit from racism.” According to press reports, in some cases these training have further claimed that there is racism embedded in the belief that America is the land of opportunity or the belief that the most qualified person should receive a job.”

The memo fails to cite any place in the federal government where these alleged trainings are occurring. It only asserts that their existence came to Trump’s attention via unidentified “press reports.” No one is likely to be shocked to learn that the press reporting this was Fox News. Tucker Carlson’s White Nationalist Hour has lately been harping on this non-issue. He has hosted guests claiming that “critical race theory” is behind this effort to “engender division and resentment within the Federal workforce.” And if anyone knows about engendering division and resentment it’s Carlson and Trump. The memo continued…

“The President has directed me to ensure that Federal agencies cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars to fund these divisive, un-American propaganda training sessions. Accordingly, to that end, the Office of Management and Budget will shortly issue more detailed guidance on implementing the President’s directive. In the meantime, all agencies are directed to begin to identify all contracts or other agency spending related to any training on ‘critical race theory,’ ‘white privilege,’ or any other training or propaganda effort that teaches or suggests either (1) that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or (2) that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil. In addition, all agencies should begin to identify all available avenues within the law to cancel any such contracts and/or to divert Federal dollars away from these un-American propaganda training sessions.”

For the record, critical race theory is not the bureaucratic horror story that the Trump regime is portraying it as. It is a scholarly “attempt to understand how victims of systemic racism are affected by cultural perceptions of race and how they are able to represent themselves to counter prejudice.” So naturally our viscerally racist president is opposed to it. After all, he is the same president who lauded neo-Nazis as “very good people,” and maligned Black Lives Matters as “domestic terrorists.”

Trump’s directive to terminate federal critical race theory trainings is also notable in that there aren’t any. None! Neither are there any trainings that teach that “the United States is an inherently racist or evil country.” What he may be targeting is diversity training intended to address and reduce racial and other prejudices in the workplace.

However, the purpose of his determination to concoct a phony controversy is obvious. He needs a diversion from the other horrendous news that is engulfing him and his floundering presidency. He is in a state of utter panic as his reelection prospects continue to wither. And his frantic morning tweetstorm is just further evidence of how desperate he has become.

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

Kellyanne Conway on Fox News Embraces Violence as a Political Plus for Trump

The predominant strategy of Donald Trump’s campaign for reelection has been to grossly mischaracterize Joe Biden as a wild-eyed socialist bent on destroying America. That’s a preposterous accusation that voters have already rejected. But it hasn’t dampened Trump’s zealous crusade to smear Biden and bring down his favorable ratings to the lows where Trump has been languishing throughout his presidency.

Kellyanne Conway, Fox News

On Thursday morning Trump’s (soon to be former) Senior White House Counselor and Director of Alternative Facts, Kellyanne Conway, held court with the Trump administration’s Ministry of Propaganda (aka Fox News) to articulate what has become a familiar theme this election season. Trump and his Republican confederates have been furiously assaulting Democrats and citizen protesters as anarchists and vandals, despite the fact that most of the demonstrations have been overwhelmingly peaceful, and much of the violence was actually perpetrated by right-wing StormTrumpers. Conway told the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends that inciting violence is now a key component of the Trump electoral strategy:

Really? Conway is expressly admitting that violence in the streets is a political advantage for the Trump campaign. Which might explain why his supporters are engaging in violence everywhere they go. It isn’t a spontaneous response to events on the ground. It’s a pre-planned tactic to advance Trump’s floundering electoral prospects. And Fox News is a partner in this heinous scheme. Wednesday night Tucker Carlson actually defended the Trump-supporting shooter of demonstrators in Kenosha, Wisconsin:

Trump and company nevertheless insist that the unrest seen in many cities, due to the unthinkably numerous incidents of police brutality and murder of Black citizens, is what will occur across the country if Biden is elected. What they are are too dense to notice is that this is what is occurring right now in Trump’s America. Trump is making the ludicrous argument that if you don’t like what’s going on now, then vote for Trump on whose watch this all took place.

The absurdity of this “logic” is apparent to anyone with a functioning brain. That, of course, leaves out Trump’s cult followers who are already irredeemably lost in a perverse, reality TV simulation of the real world. And to those misfits, Conway’s confession that more violence will help Trump get reelected is an unambiguous call to arms. She is deliberately fueling the sort of incidents that just got two innocent people killed in Kenosha.

And make no mistake, Trump is the instigator behind all of this. He supports it and will contribute to it with the intention of exacerbating further tensions and tragedies. The problem for Trump is that he has very little left in his electoral arsenal. He cannot rehabilitate his repugnant public image. He cannot restore confidence after his negligent and incompetent mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic. And he can’t brag about the economy after leading the nation into recession.

So Trump is leaning on an array of dirty dealings: character assassination of Biden and other Democrats; cheating by vote suppression and assaults on election integrity; assistance from his Russian pal Vladimir Putin and networks of right-wing Internet bots; and setting cities aflame to foment fear borne of ignorance and racism. That’s how Trump is befouling democracy in 2020. And he doesn’t care about the consequences. So the rest of us need to care all the more.

UPDATE: Joe Biden addressed this issue today. In an interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN he quoted Conway’s remarks saying that Trump is “rooting for violence.”

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

Fox News Insiders: They Created a White Supremacist Cell Inside the Network

The flamingly racist rhetoric of Donald Trump is somehow managing to heat up even further. His remarks supporting the Confederate flag, and the statues of the slavery proponents it represents, cut deeply into the concept of equality for all Americans. And his latest public statements have included thinly veiled bigotry such as his assertion that Joe Biden, if elected, will pursue policies that will bring an end to the white exclusivity of suburbia by prohibiting discrimination in the housing market.

Fox News, KKK

Trump’s reinvigorated boldness in advancing such blatant prejudice is attributable to two primary factors. First, there is his desperation resulting from how poorly he is doing in presidential polling. Biden is steamrolling him in every national poll, as well as in every crucial swing state. and his job approval rating is in the gutter.

Secondly, Trump is buoyed by his State TV Propaganda Network, Fox News, that remains devoted to him and his Republican cult despite his frequent attacks on the network. And Fox has particularly embraced the racist themes that have long been an integral part of Trump’s persona (as recently affirmed by his niece, Mary Trump).

The allegations of racism by Fox News are nothing new. The network was birthed in the bigotry of its founders Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes. But now there are increasing numbers of voices from within that are beginning to leak out to the world. The Daily Beast interviewed some of Fox’s Black staffers who took part in an internal company conference call discussing racial issues in the workplace. And as the Daily Beast described it, “It wasn’t pretty.” According to the Daily Beast, “participants on the call expressed anger and distress about rampant racism at Fox, both on- and off-air.”

“The Daily Beast spoke to more than a dozen Fox News insiders, who all suggested that behind the scenes there is a growing despair among employees about the network’s role in demonizing and spreading fear about Black Americans in particular. One employee was especially angry, saying, ‘They created a cell—they created a white supremacist cell inside the top cable network in America, the one that directly influences the president… This is rank racism excused by Murdoch.'”

And what’s more…

“The network frequently deploys right-leaning Black contributors and guests to give cover to racially insensitive content. ‘That’s something they routinely do—they turn out these people, like Candace Owens, to support these things, and use Black apologists to denigrate other Black men and women and victimize them.'”

The article features examples of overt racism from Fox’s most watched hosts, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham. A senior writer for Carlson’s program just got axed after his virulently racist comments on the Internet were revealed. Carlson issued a typically Foxian non-apology apology wherein he never even mentioned what the writer had done wrong. But he did attack anyone who took pleasure from the bigot’s departure from the show.

The outrage expressed by these Black Fox Newsers was met generally with either disingenuous platitudes or outright indifference by Fox brass. But the fact that they remain at the network and are able to continue disclosing what they see from inside the bubble is promising. It may even expose more of Trump’s rancid hatred as he continues to appear almost exclusively on the network that serves as his Ministry of Propaganda.

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

Fox News Lawyers Tell Court: Our Audience Doesn’t Assume We Tell the Truth

Any fair-minded person who has watched Fox News for more than fifteen minutes knows that the network will twist, distort, mangle, and deliberately lie in the pursuit of their mission to disseminate right-wing propaganda. It is why they were created by conservative media baron Rupert Murdoch and Republican campaign hack Roger Ailes.

Fox News, Tucker Carlson, Donald Trump

The evidence of Fox’s purposefully dishonest “reporting” has been documented for years by a multitude of journalists and fact-checkers. But for the purpose of this article it isn’t necessary to provide any links to that documentation. That’s because Fox news has admitted it themselves. And this time it isn’t some Fox idiot making an inadvertently true gaffe. This time it was in a court of law.

Tucker Carlson, one of Fox’s most prolific liars, is being sued for defamation. Karen McDougal is a former Playboy model who was paid $150,000 by the National Enquirer on behalf of Donald Trump in order to buy her silence about their sexual affair. Subsequently, Carlson did frequent stories aiming to discredit McDougal and defend Trump. In the course of those stories Carlson accused McDougal of extorting Trump and made representations that he asserted were “undisputed facts.” The only problem is that they were easily disputed and not remotely factual.

So McDougal filed suit against Carlson and Fox News. And their in defense, Fox’s lawyers have taken a unique position. They are literally arguing that Carlson’s audience doesn’t expect him to tell the truth. According to The Hollywood Reporter

“Fox News’ attorney Erin Murphy argued that Carlson repeatedly couched his statements as hypotheticals to promote conversation and that a reasonable viewer would know his show offers ‘provocative things that will help me think harder’ not straight news.

“‘What we’re talking about here, it’s not the front page of the New York Times,’ said Murphy. ‘It’s Tucker Carlson Tonight, which is a commentary show.'”

Let’s set aside the ludicrous contention that Carlson has any reasonable viewers. Likewise the suggestion that any Fox News viewer has the capacity to think hard. What we are talking about are devotees of a media cult who blindly believe whatever they are told by Fox News and their current cult master, Donald Trump. They not only assume that what Fox says is true, they regard it as the gospel from a divine source.

In reality, Carlson did not couch his statements as hypotheticals. He explicitly described them as facts. What’s more, Fox News also floats a defense that asserts Carlson’s remarks were not made in malice, a standard that may be relevant in a defamation case. But how can an accusation of having committed a criminal act (extortion) against someone who Carlson is personally associated with (Trump) not be perceived as malicious?

It’s also interesting that Fox News is introducing the New York Times as a standard for truth telling. By making a distinction between Carlson’s fictionalizations and what should be considered honest journalism, Fox’s lawyers chose the New York Times as the model of a professional media enterprise. What will Trump have to tweet about that?

The bottom line is that now any time Tucker Carlson, or Sean Hannity, or Laura Ingraham or the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends, attempt to pass off their lies and insults as “news,” it will be much easier to refute them with these admissions made by Fox’s legal team in a court of law. And the cherry on top of this sundae is that they will probably lose the defamation suit as well.

ADDENDUM: There has been some comparison of this defense to one used by MSNBC in defense of a defamation suit filed against Rachel Maddow by the Trump-fluffing conspiracy crackpots at OANN. However the only similarity is that both argued that their defendant offered opinions. The difference is that Fox’s lawyers argued that Carlson’s audience didn’t expect his opinions to be factually based. But MSNBC’s lawyers argued that Maddow’s opinions were “precise factual recitations that indisputably and accurately state the facts” and that her commentary was “fully protected opinion because (a) it was based on disclosed facts.” Big difference.

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

Study Shows Higher Rates of Coronavirus Deaths Linked to Watching Sean Hannity

Anyone who has observed how Donald Trump and Fox News have portrayed the emergence and spread of the coronavirus for the past few months cannot help but notice their trivialization of the pandemic threat. They have contradicted the health experts who have been issuing dire warnings all along. They have insisted, falsely, that it is less deadly than the common flu. They have accused Democrats of creating it as a hoax to bring down the President.

Fox News, Sean Hannity

More recently, the Fox/Trump cartel has been peddling the asinine exploits of astroturf protesters who seek to prematurely end the “stay-at-home” policies imposed by most state governors. These are measures that have been responsible for helping to mitigate the most tragic consequences of the pandemic. They seem to be operating a doomsday cult with a death wish for the nation in order to allow wealthy corporations to return to padding their bank accounts. And they’re too stupid to realize that the only way back to economic prosperity is to protect the health of all Americans by defeating the virus.

Not surprisingly, the field marshal for the COVID-19 militia is Sean Hannity of Fox News. And now his contributions to the success of the contagion have been affirmed by a study conducted by a trio of economists with the Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at the University of Chicago. The study compiled data related to the virus and matched it to television ratings for both Hannity, who routinely downplayed the virus, and Tucker Carlson, who, at least initially, reported on its potential for great harm. The key conclusions from their research reveal a distinct relationship between higher infection and death rates from the coronavirus and viewing of Hannity’s program:

“Using both a poll of Fox News viewers over age 55 and publicly available data on television-watching patterns, they calculate that Fox viewers who watched Hannity rather than Carlson were less likely to adhere to social distancing rules, and that areas where more people watched Hannity relative to Carlson had higher local rates of infection and death.”

While there are caveats to accepting these conclusions without some healthy skepticism (it is just one study and not yet peer reviewed), it satisfies a certain level of common sense. After all, any “trusted” source of information (as Fox News viewers consider Hannity) is likely to exert influence on the consumer of that information. So if Hannity tells his audience that there is nothing to worry about, they will behave in a dangerously cavalier manner that makes them more susceptible to virus transmission and acquisition. And that’s precisely the behavior that would produce the results seen in this study.

The study did not explore more broad associations involving Fox News as compared to other news networks. But it isn’t hard to imagine that the same factors would play out with similar results. In other words, if Fox News tells you it’s okay to go to work and ignore social distancing recommendations, you are probably going to be more at risk than viewers of CNN or MSNBC who are taking prudent precautions.

These conclusions are also aligned with rational logic. News Corpse speculated two months ago that Trump’s cult rallies were potential breeding grounds for the coronavirus due to their willingness to ignore the warnings. What’s more, a recent Gallup survey found that Fox News viewers and Republicans are more likely to buy Trump’s COVID-19 lies. Consequently, they too would have increased vulnerability. Which makes it impossible not to presume that it is far more dangerous to be in the company of reckless Republicans, Hannity viewers, and Trump supporters, than cautious Democrats. Proceed at your own risk.

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

Fox News Senior Legal Analyst on Trump: ‘The Remedy of Impeachment is Acutely Needed’

The impeachment of Donald Trump is finally being debated in the House of Representatives. The outcome is not expected to surprise anyone. Trump will be be impeached and will wear that mantle of disgrace for the rest of his life. Even if the Senate fails to remove him from office, the stain of impeachment is an indelible affirmation that Trump breached his constitutional duties and betrayed his country.

Donald Trump Walking the Plank

The partisan players in this battle are easily recognizable in most instances. Republicans and Fox News pundits are staunchly devoted to Trump regardless of what laws he has been shown to have broken. But every now and then someone steps out from behind the curtain of political prejudice to act as an advocate of truth and justice.

Now, as Trump’s impeachment looms, a lone voice from Fox News is standing up to the right-wing group-think that the network so rigidly enforces. Andrew Napolitano is Fox’s Senior Legal Adviser. And on Wednesday morning, as Congress was weighing Trump’s fate, Napolitano penned an op-ed with the headline: “Trump impeachment: Undisputed evidence that he abused his power.”

The article was published in the arch-conservative Washington times. For some reason, Fox News has been spiking Napolitano’s commentaries that support Trump’s impeachment. And this article had some blunt opinions on the matter. For instance…

“In Mr. Trump’s case, we have undisputed evidence that he abused his power by inviting a foreign government to interfere in the 2020 presidential election and then compounded this by directing subordinates to refrain from giving congressionally commanded evidence of his behavior.”

“It is undisputed that Mr. Trump withheld the delivery of the $391 million in military aid to Ukraine that Congress authorized and ordered and that Mr. Trump himself signed into law. He said he withheld that aid because he first wanted “a favor” from the president of Ukraine. The favor, requested by others on Mr. Trump’s behalf, was the announcement of a Ukrainian government criminal investigation of Mr. Trump’s potential political adversary, former Vice President Joe Biden.

“In the language of the streets, this is a shakedown; it sought to enhance Mr. Trump’s personal political needs and bears no relationship to American foreign policy.

Napolitano went on to describe the criminal violations Trump committed. They included the federal prohibition on soliciting campaign aid from a foreign government, and bribery. He also explained that these acts are crimes whether or not they are consummated by the exchange of money or services. It is the solicitation that triggers the offense.

And that’s not all. Napolitano also noted the criminal obstruction of justice by Trump for having “directed his subordinates to disregard congressional subpoenas, lawfully issued and validly served.” And he was troubled by Trump’s apparent belief that he is above the law. Napolitano made clear that this was dangerous, and that there is something that the Founders had in mind for just such a problem:

“Everyone who believes in the rule of law should be terrified of a president who thinks and behaves as if it does not apply to him. As the DOJ has stated repeatedly, impeachment is the proper constitutional remedy for that.”

Trump has been frantically trying to dodge accountability for his clearly impeachable activities. But his legal basis is virtually nonexistent, and he has refused to even defend himself before the committees of jurisdiction in Congress. Instead, he relies on bootlicking Fox News hacks like Gregg Jarrett and Alan Dershowitz (each of which he retweeted six times on Wednesday) for legal advice. Even worse, his idea of “legal scholars.” is Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson.

Former federal judge Napolitano, on the other hand, says that “the remedy of impeachment is acutely needed.” But you can rest assured that Trump will dismiss that as fake news and malign Napolitano (who was a close friend of Trump’s for decades) as a Never-Trumper. That’s just how the mind of a paranoid narcissist works.

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

SRSLY? Trump Cites Fox News Shills as ‘Legal Scholars’ to Dismiss Impeachment Report

The impeachment of Donald Trump has now moved from the House Intelligence Committee to the House Judiciary Committee. And with that the legal arguments for the constitutional grounds for impeachment are coming to the forefront of the public discourse. A panel of law professors are the first witnesses to appear before this committee. But Trump has his own laughably obtuse ideas on the matter.

Donald Trump, Constitution

Trump held several press avails with foreign leaders during his trip to London for the NATO summit. In each of them he managed to deliver blatantly political screeds that exalted himself and maligned his critics. But on one occasion he offered his opinion of the report written at the conclusion of the House impeachment hearings. Not surprising, he was less than impressed. He had the following exchange with a reporter (video below):

REPORTER: Do you want to comment on the House Democrats impeachment report that came out last night and the hearing today?

TRUMP: Well, I saw it and it’s a joke. Everybody is saying it. I watched reviews. I watched Sean Hannity. I watched Laura Ingraham. I watched Tucker Carlson. I watched a lot of other legal scholars.

REALLY? So now Trump is passing off right-wing hacks on Fox News as the “legal scholars” he relies on to shape his views of impeachment. That’s even worse than his actual lawyers (i.e. Rudy Giuliani) and the other TV attorneys that he depends on for advice. And he’s admitting to watching an awful lot of TV while he’s at this international summit. He went on to site his longtime friend Alan Dershowitz and the Bill Clinton special prosecutor, Ken Starr, as additional sources of his legal opinions.

For some reason Trump failed to note that Fox News’ Senior Legal Analyst, Andrew Napolitano, concluded that the evidence of Trump’s impeachable behavior is overwhelming. He also left out the commentaries by Napolitano and staunch pro-Trump sycophant Andrew McCarthy, who both disputed the anti-impeachment arguments of committee witness Jonathan Turley. However, Trump did go on to repeat some of his recent lies relating to his popularity:

“I will tell you it’s a uniform statement pretty much right down the road. What they’re doing is a bad thing for the country. It’s of no merit. And the Republican Party has never been more unified, ever. They have never been as unified as they are right now.

“I’ve never seen anything like it where you have 197-0 where the Senate is very angry about it. I think the Senate I can say is angry. The Republican Party is angry. A recent poll came out 95% approval rating for me in the Republican Party which is a record. “

Nevermind that it is entirely irrelevant whether the Republican Party is unified. They are expected to be united in defense of their president. That doesn’t have any bearing on his guilt. And more to the point, Trump’s assertions as to the unity of the GOP being uniformly in favor of Trump is simply false. He has never been able to provide a source for 95% approval, but a recent poll put the number at 74%. And majorities of the American people are solidly in favor of impeaching Trump and removing him from office.

Trump is living in a fantasy world where he is beloved by all and everyone agrees with him on everything. The truth is that he is the most unpopular president in modern times who has never even hit 50% approval. And it’s downright pathetic that he has to resort to partisan hacks like Hannity to justify his delusions on the legality of impeachment. He might as well be citing Lionel Hutz.

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