Trump Thinks He’s Still on Reality TV, Doesn’t Know Fox News is an Entertainment Network

The fact that Donald Trump is suffering from a crushing array of delusional departures from the real world is unarguable. He regards himself as The Chosen One.” He believes that only he can solve America’s problems (despite the fact that he’s failed to deliver on his campaign promises), In his warped mind he knows more than anyone on every subject. And these delusions are separate and apart from his ceaseless lies (more than 12,000 so far).

Donald Trump TV Set

However, there is a common thread that weaves through much of the hallucinatory fallacies that clutter his emotionally and intellectually stunted brain. He has an all-consuming fetish with his perceived popularity. Crowd size seems to be a stand-in for his virility. And often his craving for attention is manifested in his obsession with polls. But unfortunately for him, they mostly reflect how bitterly despised he is by most Americans. Even polls from Fox News and his favorite ultra-biased pollster, Rasmussen, show him in dire straits.

But polls are just the political equivalent of a mode of survey that Trump has had much more exposure to: The Nielsen Ratings. His fourteen years as the host of a reality TV game show has permeated his world view. And it is the prism through which he sees everything related to his life and presidency. This contorted mindset produced a Sunday morning tweet attacking sitcom star Debra Messing:

Here Trump is renewing his competition with other celebrities while also wholly inventing their alleged admiration for him. (I’d bet the limit at the Trump Taj Mahal that Messing never called him “sir”). He’s also demonstrating that he gauges his self-worth by his comparison – not to other presidents – but to other Hollywood luminaries. That’s his benchmark of approval. What’s more, he measures the value of news media by the same criteria. It isn’t insight or knowledge or experience that validates the media. It’s ratings. Which is why Trump also tweeted this tribute to his pal Sean Hannity:

First of all, Hannity is not the number one show on cable television. It’s the number one “news” show on cable television, which is a much smaller set of programs. Secondly, Trump isn’t the “favorite president” of anyone but his glassy-eyed cadre of Deplorables. But more importantly, there is no significance to the fact that the Fox News Trump-fluffers in primetime have higher ratings than the rest of the network’s programming. There’s a reason that time is called “prime.”

What Trump is doing here is trying to rescue himself from some painfully idiotic comments made last week admonishing Fox for failing to be 100% adoring. In a fit of hurt feelings he ordered his cult followers to “start looking for a new news network” because Fox “isn’t working for us anymore.” This was his way of reassuring Hannity that he still appreciates his up-sucking.

Trump’s intense focus on ratings is evidence that he has never left the realm of television ranking and marketing. Nothing matters to him except for how he is perceived by the standards of Hollywood. That explains why the only thing that was important to him about his visit to the hospital in El Paso where shooting victims were recovering was making sure that everyone knew how much he was loved. He wasn’t. In fact every patient refused to see him.

Trump’s single-minded concentration on ratings is matched by the market positioning of Fox News. They place a similar weight of stature on numbers, rather than quality or honesty. That’s because they have long considered themselves to be part of the entertainment sector of television, not news. Their late, disgraced CEO, Roger Ailes, even admitted it, dismissing his news competition to tell the Hollywood Reporter that “We’re competing with TNT and USA and ESPN.” And the product they put on the air proves that. Even the Fox News website promotes their programs as entertainment, rather than news. That particular promotion was for Tucker Carlson, who Fox thinks people should watch because he’s such an asshole.

Fox News has redefined television “journalism” by fundamentally transforming it from an information medium to an entertainment medium. They dress up their pseudo-news segments in the same reality TV, soap opera packaging that entertainment outlets use: conflict, scandal, mystery, and hyper-charged emotions including hero worship and fear. Fox employs flashy graphics and attention-grabbing audio whooshes and gongs to decorate their reports that are presented as ‘ALERTS’ regardless of the news value. And always there is sex. Fox’s roster of hosts has more former beauty pageant contestants that journalists.

So Fox News is the perfect chronicler of the bizarre presidency of Donald Trump. They are, in fact, recording the trials and tribulations of a fictional character, that they helped to invent, as he stumbles through his sappily scripted, melodramatic existence. And Trump embraces that rendering of his White House antics. It’s playacting on a world stage. The problem is that for the rest of the world’s inhabitants it’s all too real and frightening and dangerous. This show needs to be canceled ASAP if the we want to survive until next season.

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

One more thing, just for fun: In October of 2009, the Daily Show with Jon Stewart covered this subject in a brilliant and hysterical segment entitled FOR FOX SAKE! Fox News defends itself against an attack by the Obama administration by explaining that most of their shows aren’t real news.” ENJOY!

Fox News is Spinning (Lying) Furiously to Cover Up A Devastating Exodus of Advertisers

You almost have to feel sorry for the poor shills at State TV (aka Fox News). Their corporate mission is inextricably tied to defending Republican policies and politicians. And with Donald Trump gumming up the works every day with tirades that stretch the boundaries of either hate speech or humor, their jobs cannot be easy. In fact, it must be a downright nightmare having to make lame, impotent excuses for their Chosen One.”

Fox News, Titanic

In addition to facing Trump’s rapidly declining poll numbers, Fox is also having to absorb incoming rhetorical missiles from Trump, the guy they are working so hard to promote and protect. It’s a complex tango that results in everyone getting their toes stepped on. But Fox is up to the challenge. They just announced the hiring of Trump’s former Press Secretary and confessed liar, Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She’s expected to be running for Arkansas governor, so this job is Fox’s campaign contribution.

Fox News is simultaneously suffering through some difficult financial times due to the noxious commentaries of some of their top program hosts. Particularly Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham. In April of this year Variety reported that “ad dollars attached to ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ fell 47.8%, to $48.3 million from almost $92.7 million in 2017.” That’s a nearly 50 percent haircut. The numbers of ads on his program dropped a similar percentage to only fifteen from thirty-six last October. Laura Ingraham is experiencing the same drop-off in advertisers. So what could be causing these financial calamities while their viewership remains as passionately loyal as any cult?

Well, it could be that Tucker Carlson’s flagrant bigotry is a staple of his nightly program and advertisers are reaching their breaking point. His most recent controversy was triggered by his preposterous statement that white nationalism “is a hoax.” Never mind that most acts of domestic terrorism are by white nationalists, according to the Trump-appointed FBI Director, Christopher Wray.

Meanwhile, 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.”

Fox News, however, is fiercely defensive and unrepentant. They insist that they haven’t lost any revenue as a result of their loathsome hosts because the ads are merely shifted to other programs. That’s an outright lie. It would mean that the other programs had unsold ad inventory that these ads could be slipped into. If that’s true they are admitting to even bigger problems selling ads throughout the day. But even if we accept Fox’s explanation, that still means they lost money because moving a primetime ad to a less expensive daypart would require significant discounting. What’s more, Fox programming is now cluttered with unpaid Fox News promos and cheesy, low cost ads for reverse mortgages and MyPillow.

Any other business would be concerned about this sort of dwindling revenue. But since Fox News is a political operation first and a business second (and never a news enterprise), they are willing to take the hit. While they are surely as greedy as any other corporation, they are more committed to advancing the interests of Trump and the GOP. If that’s a costly proposition, they regard it as money well spent to disinform their audience and spread right-wing lies. And unless the movement to defund Fox escalates significantly, expect this to continue throughout the 2020 election cycle and beyond.

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

Trump Says Hollywood is Racist Because of Alleged Bias Against – Conservatives?

The rise of white supremacy and openly bigoted white nationalist groups has been going on for many years and has intensified since the election of Donald Trump. It’s so obvious that even Trump’s own FBI Director, Christopher Wray, gave congressional testimony warning that homegrown violent terrorism is the single biggest threat to the country. “A majority of the domestic terrorism cases we’ve investigated,” Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee, “are motivated by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence.”

Donald Trump, MAGA

Tragic confirmation of that was evident in the massacre of innocent people, mainly Latino, in El Paso, Texas, last weekend by an avowed anti-immigrant Trump supporter. But the determination by Trump and the Republican Party to address this problem cannot be taken seriously. Neither Trump, nor his political confederates, have made any substantive effort to mitigate the violence and hatred that flows freely in right-wing circles. On Fox News, host Tucker Carlson actually devoted a segment to his theory that white supremacy is a hoax.

It’s hard to imagine that any solutions will be forthcoming from the Trump camp considering that he has been the chief spokesperson for the white nationalist movement and that most of their leaders – and followers – have endorsed him. They are his base and he has demonstrated his loyalty as well as his fear of offending them.

What’s more, Trump can hardly take a position against racism when he doesn’t even seem to understand what it is. In a response to a reporter’s question on Friday morning about political bias on Twitter, Trump awkwardly twisted his response into an attack on Hollywood. He began with a threat that “We’re gonna be very tough with them.” And it just got worse from there (video below).

“They’re treating conservatives very unfairly. Hollywood … is really terrible. You talk about racist … Hollywood is racist. What they’re doing with the kind of movies they’re putting out is actually very dangerous for our country. What Hollywood is doing is a tremendous disservice to our country. We have now, in a little while, all of the heads of the biggest companies coming in and we’re gonna talk to them. They treat conservatives, Republicans totally different than they treat others. And they can’t do that.”

This is representative of the paranoia that Trump and his GOP crybabies commonly exhibit. Everyone is always out to get them: Hollywood, Twitter, Facebook, the press, etc. Any form of media that exercises their First Amendment rights is regarded as dangerous. And their solution is bullying and intimidation. Where Trump gets the idea that he can dictate what Hollywood can and can’t do is pretty obvious. He gets it from his heroes Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un, whose unrestricted totalitarian control of their respective countries is something that Trump envies.

What makes Trump’s whining especially disturbing is that he’s flatly asserting that Hollywood is racist because they are allegedly biased against conservatives. What does that even mean? How would a bias against conservatives be racist? Is he suggesting that such a bias is a racial attack because conservatives are predominantly white and, therefore, any discrimination against them is due to anti-whitism?

Notice that Trump never bothered to provide any examples of the alleged racism he’s accusing Hollywood of engaging in. Perhaps he’s just upset that whenever there’s a racist character in a movie he is portrayed as a villain. Trump would probably like to see some balance where there are some racist heroes on the big screen. That would be consistent with his support for Confederate generals and the statues honoring them.

See? Trump is just a civil rights advocate who seeks equality for people who hate black and brown Americans. And he’s going to take measures to achieve that end. If it means forcing Hollywood to produce only certain types of movies, so be it. After all, If Vlad and Kim can do it, why not Trump?

[UPDATE:] Trump posted a couple of tweets on this subject:

The movie Trump is referring to (but refused to name) is The Hunt,” a satire that Trump, and the knee-jerk conservative pundits and politicians railing against it, clearly doesn’t understand. The plot features a group of wealthy, entitled liberals who hunt right-wing hicks for sport. But it’s not glorifying the liberals. Rather, they are portrayed as evil nutcases and their right-wing “prey” as the victims. The movie’s hero is one of the hunted who fights back.

But Trump’s tweets are pitifully stupid for another reason. He resists the label of “elites” being assigned to the movie’s rich villains. That’s because he considers himself elite and wants to retain that “privilege” for himself and his ilk. He seems to be more aligned to the wealthy villains in this movie than the poor conservatives he panders to. Also, there is absolutely no racial component to any of this.

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

Trump Won’t Condemn White Nationalist Domestic Terrorists for Fear of Offending His Base

The casualties are piling up as gun violence in America continues unabated. And it is impossible to tolerate any longer the right-wing mantra of “thoughts and prayers” while they do absolutely nothing constructive to solve the problem. To the contrary, Republicans in Congress work affirmatively to obstruct common sense solutions that the American people want in unprecedented majorities.

Donald Trump

This isn’t about mental health. It’s not about video games or prayer in school. It’s about easy access to weapons of war and the flagrant racism and hate speech of Donald Trump and his ilk. There have been more mass shootings (250) in 2019 than there have days (219). And while Democrats have passed bills in the House of Representatives, Republicans, and particularly GOP leader Mitch McConnell, have refused to even allow a vote on any of those bills.

For his part, Donald Trump remains aloof and unable to tear himself away from his golf game, or Fox News, long enough to address this crisis with any measure of the seriousness it demands. A real president would deliver an Oval Office speech condemning the white nationalists who are responsible for the majority of fatalities related terrorism in the U.S. That’s a conclusion that even the Trump-appointed FBI director affirmed. It would be nice if we had a real president.

But Trump himself will not even acknowledge that there is a problem with right-wing violence. In fact, he literally downplays any significant occurrence of it. Following the slaughter at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Trump dismissed the growing threat of white nationalism saying that “I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems.”

The words “white nationalist terrorism” have never passed through Trump’s lips. And this is despite his being one of the most vocal critics of President Obama for not using the inaccurate and inflammatory phrase “radical Islamic terrorism.” Trump even called for Obama to resign on Twitter asking…

Trump has made it a hallmark of his presidency to maliciously portray refugees as criminals and terrorists “invading” our country. Never mind that his exclusionary view of “our” country ignores the fact that it is populated, and was built, by refugees. Yet he demands that they “go back where they came from,” even they happen to be U.S. citizens and elected representatives in Congress. The rhetoric of “invasion,” and “criminal,” and “go back,” is exactly the same language that appears in the manifestos of these racist murderers.

It’s also the same language that is used by Fox News. Tucker Carlson’s White Nationalist Hour frequently bemoans the “darkening” of America. He has said that immigration “makes our own country poorer, and dirtier.” His colleague Laura Ingraham worries that “the America that we know and love doesn’t exist anymore [due to] massive demographic changes … that most of us don’t like.” And in the wake of two tragic massacres, Fox sought to blame ISIS or video games rather than the clearly guilty movement of alt-right bigotry.

There’s a reason that Trump won’t go after these domestic terrorists. He is scared. He’s a shivering wisp of a man who is afraid of offending his base. He’s afraid that the attendance at his cult rallies will decline. He’s terrified of losing support from the neo-Nazis who comprise the most activist faction of his hateful crusade. And Republicans in Congress won’t act either because they are afraid of offending Trump.

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

Trump is so unashamedly beholden to his cretinous disciples that he recently joked about shooting migrants. And considering the clarity that Trump gives to his hate speech, no one should be surprised when his followers take up the call. When they do, don’t expect Trump to denounce them. But the rest of the nation needs to come together and condemn Trump’s hatred and incitement to violence. We need to hold him accountable for the pain and grief he purposefully encourages. And if he can’t “finally mention the words [white nationalist terrorism], he should immediately resign in disgrace!”

Fox News Emails Sound Like ‘White Supremacist Chat Room’ – Have They Ever Watched Fox News?

Donald Trump spoke at the annual convention for the National Rifle Association (NRA) on Friday. Despite the organization’s unrepentant support for terrorists and felons and spousal abusers having unfettered access to guns, Trump felt it was necessary to help prop up their sagging approval ratings (and his own) with hias Deplorable base.

Fox News, KKK

These are the same sort of cretins who attended the white nationalist rallies in Charlottesville, VA, that Trump also defended as “very fine people.” In the aftermath of those repugnant remarks, Fox News struggled mightily to protect Trump from the fallout for having praised neo-Nazis. And apparently, they are still doing it. Trump is also still defending those remarks with new distortions of reality.

Friday morning it was revealed that an internal email exchange between some Fox News reporters devolved into a flagrantly pro-Trump brainstorming session. They were discussing how to respond to charges made by Joe Biden in his campaign announcement wherein he reminded people of Trump’s affection for torch-carrying racists.

The fact that they were brainstorming Trump defenses is bad enough. That isn’t the job of legitimate reporters. But their rationalization of such hatred makes matters worse. So much so that even one of the reporters in the email chain got fed up with what he was reading. After Fox’s Doug McKelway implied that Biden was lying, he drew this response from Fox News Radio’s Jon Decker:

“I really don’t understand the point you are making. Jarrod Kuhn was one of those individuals in Charlottesville holding a tiki torch while the mob chanted “Jews will not replace us. […] Your posts read like something you’d read on a White Supremacist chat room.”

While it’s admirable that Decker had the courage to forthrightly renounce McKelway and his other colleagues, there is a bigger problem that is left unchanged. It isn’t just that email thread that sounds like a “White Supremacist chat room.” It’s much of the programming on the air at Fox News. Tucker Carlson has become the voice of America’s white nationalists with nearly every show advancing their rhetoric and agenda. Laura Ingraham frequently launches brazenly racist diatribes, particularly against minority celebrities and sports figures. And the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends take every opportunity to smear politicians of color.

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

So if an email exchange sounds like a “White Supremacist chat room,” the Fox News Channel sounds like the Aryan Broadcasting Network. More of Fox’s reporters need to take a lesson from Decker and call out their racist confederates. The network is already suffering an exodus of advertisers who don’t want to be associated with such hate speech. Now the anchors and guests need to step up and denounce the racist culture that permeates Fox News. Will they have the courage to do publicly what Decker did in an email that he thought was private?

Trump ‘Congratulates’ CNN for Having Low Ratings, Even Though His Are Much Worse

Having a healthy ego is a requirement for anyone who aspires to be President of the United States. But there has never been a president with the kind of psychotically twisted self-image as Donald Trump. He has explicitly declared himself as the best in the world at whatever subject he happens to be babbling about at the time. Whether it’s taxes or war or energy or finance or women, Trump is adamant that he knows more than anybody else (see the video below). It’s rather impressive that he can be so self-aggrandizing and so wrong at the same time.

Donald Trump, Loser

So naturally Trump is obsessed with rankings and ratings and other measures of ability that he can exploit to make himself feel like he isn’t the miserable failure that he knows he is deep inside. And since he regards Fox News as an extension of himself, the cable TV ratings are a big part of Trump’s notion of self-worth. That’s why when he saw some ratings data (from the Daily Caller, the ultra-rightist website run by Fox News host Tucker Carlson) that noted the poor performance of CNN, he leaped at the chance to sarcastically congratulate the network as if these results were specifically heralding him.

Of course, anyone who follows the cable news business already knows that CNN has been lagging behind both Fox News and MSNBC. So it’s hard to figure out why Trump got so excited. But more interesting is the fact that Trump’s joy seems to ignore an important part of reality: Trump’s approval is even worse than CNN’s ratings. In fact, as disclosed in a recent poll, the American people trust CNN more than they do Trump or Fox News:

“Attacks on the ‘fake news’ media have been a staple of President Donald Trump’s messaging as both a presidential candidate and commander in chief, but new polling from Morning Consult/The Hollywood Reporter suggests that when it comes to credibility, that rhetoric really only resonates with Republicans.”

This poll shows that a majority of 53 percent regard CNN as “credible.” The same goes for another target of Trump’s, the New York Times. And all three broadcast networks came in higher than 60 percent. Fox News was below all of them at 52 percent. And that’s with 70 percent of Republicans believing it’s credible (a number that affirms the cult nature of their relationship with both Fox and Trump). Numerous other polls have been conducted on the question of trust, and in every single case the American people said that they trust the media more than they do Trump.

Meanwhile, Trump’s own ratings have achieved a dubious distinction as being lower than any president in history. So Trump is right about being the best – at least at being hated. Even the disreputable, right-wing, pro_Trump pollster, Rasmussen, has Trump down five points (to 47%) since the release of the redacted Mueller report less than a week ago. The more reliable Reuters poll shows that Trump has declined to a dismal 37 percent.

So to shore up his faltering standing with the public, Trump has spent Monday morning frantically posting clips of Fox News slobbering all over him. No less than five such clips were tweeted featuring crackpots like Lou Dobbs and Mark Levin. It’s the only way he can manage to salve his wounded and fragile ego. He is a man consumed by fear. And every tweet wherein he lambastes special counsel Robert Mueller, and the “witch hunt,” and the “Angry Democrats,” and the media, just reinforces his guilt and his desperation to suppress it.

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

What White Nationalists? Tucker Carlson of Fox News Acts Like the Mob Denying There’s a Mafia

In the early and mid 20th century, there were organized crime syndicates that terrorized much of the country with extortion, robbery, and murder as tactics to gain control of businesses, communities, and wealth. It was a well-orchestrated collective of ruthless criminals who would go to any lengths to achieve their nefarious goals.

Fox News, Tucker Carlson, Donald Trump

One of the favorite methods that the Mafia used to avoid accountability was to simply insist that there was no such thing as the Mafia. They would assert that they were legitimate businessmen engaging in legal free enterprise. Never mind all the bodies washing up along the shores of the Hudson River, or the storefronts that were engulfed in flames with resistant shopkeepers inside, or the cops driving Cadillacs they couldn’t reasonably explain how they paid for.

That’s the same tactic that Fox News is employing to pretend that there isn’t any such thing as white nationalism in America. And the host of Fox’s primetime White Nationalist Hour is the alt-right’s poster boy, Tucker Carlson. So it should come as no surprise that he spent much of his Thursday night program gaslighting his audience into believing that white nationalism was merely a hollow insult that lefties threw around, but that no such thing really existed in any significant numbers. Carlson asserted that nobody, including himself, even knows what the term means:

“You’ll notice that none of these dumb people pause, even for a second, to explain what a white nationalist is. You probably still don’t know. And, honestly, neither do we. And that’s because there are so very few of them in this country. There are probably about as many legitimate white nationalists in America as there are Russian spies. You could live your entire life here without running into a white nationalist.”

So let’s be clear. This is white nationalist Carlson denying that there is any such thing as white nationalism. Never mind all his blustering about the supremacy of European white culture, his lamenting of how oppressed white men are in America, and his hostility toward anyone else as “dirty and divisive.” Those comments have resulted in a mass exodus of his advertisers, despite his high ratings.

To be sure, Carlson is not alone. His Fox News colleagues, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, Jeanine Pirro, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends, all agree with him. What’s more, Donald Trump has fully adopted this racist philosophy as well as the dishonest technique of pretending it doesn’t exist. Asked by reporters whether he thought white nationalists were a growing threat after the massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand, Trump said “I don’t really. I think it’s a very small group of people.”

So the circle is complete. The President of the United States is proclaiming to the world that white nationalism is fake news. And he got that news for his State TV partners at Fox. But for the record, the Southern Poverty Law Center has documented that “The number of hate groups operating across America rose to a record high – 1,020 – in 2018 … a 30 percent increase roughly coinciding with Trump’s campaign and presidency.” Nevertheless, according to Trump and Fox News, it’s no big deal and hardly merits a sideways glance. Got it? And there’s no such thing as the Mafia either.

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

Hannity Worries as Fox News Insiders Complain ‘We’re Being Defined By the Worst People on Our Air’

There has been much speculation about the future direction of Fox News following Disney’s acquisition of most of the Fox entertainment assets. Rupert Murdoch remains at the helm of the cable “news” network, while his son Lachlan runs the new, shrunken Fox Corporation. Insiders are wondering about whether the network will continue to be the State TV division of the Donald Trump administration.

Fox News Sean Hannity

Now Gabriel Sherman of Vanity Fair is reporting that some changes may be in store for Fox News. Sherman has been a reliable source about what goes on behind the curtains at Fox. He wrote the definitive biography of the late, disgraced Fox CEO Roger Ailes, The Loudest Man in the Room. In his new article he sheds some light on the rumblings within an organization that has widely come to be seen as a propaganda mouthpiece for an authoritarian style White House regime:

“Donald Trump’s alliance with Fox News has been one of the few constants throughout his shambolic presidency. But in recent days, that bond has shown signs of fraying. […] Fox journalists, bristling at being branded an arm of the Trump White House, are lobbying Fox News C.E.O. Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace to rein in Fox & Friends, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs and Pirro. ‘Reporters are telling management that we’re being defined by the worst people on our air,’ a frustrated senior Fox staffer told me.”

Actually, most Fox News reporters are doing much of that branding themselves. While the primetime StormTrumpers set the tone for the network (with few signs that they are being reined in), the other hosts and contributors either back them up or decline to repudiate the lies and insults that are the red meat of Fox’s editorial mission.

Trump recently took a gentle swipe at Fox News for briefly suspending one of his favorite fluffers, Jeanine Pirro due to her virulently racist comments about Muslim representative Ilhan Omar. He also propped up Tucker Carlson following his offensive remarks on a shock-jock radio show, and gave what he must believe is the ultimate insult to Shepard Smith by saying that he belongs on CNN.

Sherman writes that the alleged “civil war” at Fox will be decided by Lachlan Murdoch, who is described as a “Libertarian conservative, not a MAGA diehard.” He suggests that the hiring of former DNC chair Donna Brazile signals a change in direction for Fox. That’s a weak argument considering that they also just hired the radical wingnut former congressman Trey Gowdy, who led the GOP-controlled committee that wasted years and millions of dollars on Benghazi hearings that produced nothing but ridicule for the Republican Hillary fetishists.

One of the most compelling disclosures in Sherman’s reporting concerned Sean Hannity, Trump’s shadow chief-of-staff:

“Sources said Hannity is angry at the Murdochs’ firing of Ailes and Bill Shine, Hannity’s close friend and former producer. Hannity believes the Murdochs are out to get Trump. ‘Hannity told Trump last year that the Murdochs hate Trump, and Hannity is the only one holding Fox together,’ a source who heard the conversation told me. Hannity has told friends that he intends to leave Fox when his contract expires in early 2021, two people who’ve spoken with him said.”

You have to wonder where Hannity would go if he left Fox News. Other Fox alum have not fared so well outside that fortress of rightist disinformation. For instance, where are Glenn Beck, Greta Van Susteren, Bill O’Reilly, and Megyn Kelly today? What’s more, Hannity’s egotistical opinion that he’s the glue binding Fox together is laughable. For one thing, he’s losing his time period to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. For another, his Fox stablemate, Tucker Carlson, is outperforming him on Fox. And the network still has Laura Ingraham, Neil Cavuto, Jesse Watters, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends slobbering all over Trump.

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

Finally, Sherman’s sources tell him that Fox News could be on the auction block. That would be an interesting development that would leave the Murdochs with just the broadcast entertainment network, their station group, and some cable sports channels. But even if Rupert were willing to let go (doubtful), who would buy Fox News? What media enterprise would benefit from owning a disreputable news outlet whose advertisers are fleeing in droves? Would the Murdochs (who are still the majority shareholders) allow a sale to Jeff Bezos? Or would they look for a conservative billionaire to ride up on a white (nationalist) horse? Time will tell.

Is Donald Trump the President of the United States, or of Fox News Marketing and PR?

The torrid love affair between Donald Trump and Fox News has never been exactly secret. Fox has given him more free airtime than any other public figure. And he has granted them more interviews (40+) than all other news networks combined. And all of the exposure has been unceasingly adoring. Trump even had a weekly segment on Fox and Friends (Mornings with Trump) long before his presidential aspirations.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Fake

The recent article in the New Yorker by Jane Mayer neatly sewed together much of the evidence proving that Fox News is not merely a conservative leaning network, but a blatantly biased propaganda mouthpiece for the President. And to demonstrate that it isn’t a relationship they are ashamed of, both Fox and Trump have escalated their fetishistic fondness for one another since the article was published. Trump, in particular, has unleashed a rash of promotions of Fox News and the shills who call it home. Just in the last four days Trump has posted ten videos from Fox:

  1. Lou Dobbs on Trump’s phony national emergency
  2. Lou Dobbs with cartoon pundits Diamond and Silk
  3. Outnumbered ranting about a “Witch Hunt”
  4. Jason Chaffetz exhibiting his undying Hillary Clinton fetish
  5. Fox and Friends pushing Trump’s idiotic vanity wall
  6. Maria Bartiromo obediently maligning the FBI
  7. Mark Levin spending seven minutes fluffing Trump with Bill Bennett
  8. Tucker Carlson doing the fake history of the Russia “hoax”
  9. Sean Hannity lying about a Democratic conspiracy against Trump
  10. Sean Hannity succumbing to his ludicrous “Deep State” dementia

Remember, this is the president who says that he doesn’t have time to watch TV because of all the documents that he has to read (as if he can read). But not only does he have plenty of time to watch TV, he even has time to feverishly post tweets of his viewing. And this doesn’t even count the numerous textual tweets that reference things he just saw on Fox News.

Last week Trump’s viewing was sufficiently disturbed that he plaintively pleaded with Fox News to return Jeanine Pirro, who Fox briefly suspended due to her flagrantly racist comments about Muslim representative Ilhan Omar. He also stood up for Tucker Carlson whose past bigotry, and boorish profanity, was revealed in recordings from his radio guest spots with Bubba, the Love Sponge.

These promos for Fox News are pure puffery on behalf of the President for his favorite bootlicking broadcaster. It is wholly unprecedented in American politics. And the marketing executives at Fox News must be thrilled. The question is whether Trump is volunteering this assistance to Fox, or if Fox is directing it.

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

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.