Fox News Shills Parrot Trump’s False and Peculiar ‘Praise’ of a New York Times Campaign ‘Spy’ Story

For most his presidency, Donald Trump has demonstrated a remarkable capacity for failing to understand the simplest matters that unfold in current events. Either that or he is deliberately distorting reality to conform to his preconceived delusions. This is evident in everything from his confused grasp of the economy, to his embarrassing belief that stealth fighters are actually invisible.

Fox News, Spying on Trump

On Friday morning Trump took another step into the cognitive void. He posted a tweet that offered backhanded praise to the New York Times for an article about the FBI’s investigation into his campaign’s contacts with Russia. But his comprehension of the Times article was indicative of a diseased mind:

It was thoughtful of Trump to suggest that the Times should get a Pulitzer Prize. Especially since they already got one this year for “an exhaustive 18-month investigation of President Donald Trump’s finances that debunked his claims of self-made wealth and revealed a business empire riddled with tax dodges.” But Trump’s tweet missed the whole point of the story. He also missed the headline, which his tweet falsely quoted as “Details effort to spy on Trump Campaign.” The actual headline was “F.B.I. Sent Investigator Posing as Assistant to Meet With Trump Aide in 2016.”

Notice that what Trump called a “spy,” the Times referred to as an “investigator.” And that’s precisely how Fox News helpfully sought to elaborate on Trump’s glitchy characterization. The “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends did a segment on the story by the Times that led with a gleeful Steve Doocy completely misrepresenting it (video below):

“So it’s a big story in the New York Times. Remember a couple of years ago when Donald Trump said the government was spying on him? Turns out the New York Times, in this morning’s edition, right here on the front, we’re gonna show you the headline, ‘FBI Sent Investigator Posing as Assistant to Meet with Trump Aide in 2016.'”

First of all, can anyone explain why Fox put that MAGA sign in the graphic, other than as a free advertisement? More to the point, Doocy went on to describe the story as involving Trump’s foreign policy advisor, George Papadopoulos, who the FBI was indeed investigating to ascertain his links to Russia. Doocy even acknowledge that, although he repeated Trump’s rhetoric about spying, which is not what happened. But co-host Brian Kilmeade agreed and then went full conspiracy crackpot by accusing the FBI of “covering their tracks” due some to imaginary exposé that Kilmeade wouldn’t reveal.

In reality, this was part of an investigation that had already begun. It was initiated after an Australian diplomat told the FBI about a meeting he had with Papadopoulos in a London bar. Papadopoulos revealed that he had access to damaging information about Hillary Clinton obtained by Russian hackers. That meeting took place in May of 2016. The meeting referenced in the New York Times story took place in September of 2016, several months later. So, since the investigation was already in progress, what exactly were Trump and Fox News so excited about? The Times story merely affirms prior reporting that Trump’s campaign had unsavory associations with Russia that were worthy of scrutiny.

Trump has been whining incessantly about what he calls a “Witch Hunt” and a “hoax” for much of the past two years. But his contention that he was the subject of spying is ludicrous. When law enforcement assigns officers to engage in surveillance it is routine and legal investigative work, not spying. And in Trump’s case, it was all conducted with strict oversight and lawful warrants issued by independent judges. Nevertheless, Trump managed to twist the Times’ story into something it wasn’t, and then declared some sort of deranged victory.

This is just another sorry attempt by Trump – with Fox’s help – to malign the FBI and American intelligence agencies. That’s something that he has been working hard at because he knows what he is guilty of and, therefore, needs to discredit the police agencies who are protecting the nation from criminals. Criminals like Donald Trump, who also tweeted that he spoke with Vladimir Putin Friday morning. His tweet indicated that they spoke about the “Russian Hoax.”

So now Trump is talking to our enemies about his attacks on American law enforcement? Is he still colluding with Putin to coordinate their stories that there was “no collusion, no obstruction”? Doesn’t he realize that Putin is a subject of the investigation by the FBI, and it’s entirely inappropriate for him to discuss the case with Putin? And given all of that, do we really need any more reasons to impeach Trump?

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

Fox News Scolds Bernie Sanders for ‘Praising Dictators’ – Ignores Trump ‘Falling in Love’ With Them

As the Democratic primary season ramps up, we can expect it to be hectored by cranky Republicans and Fox News shills who are desperate to shift attention from their candidate, Donald Trump. More often than not, Trump is his own worst enemy for incessantly posting embarrassing tweets the run the gamut of political pontification from infantile to incoherent.

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin

Consequently, Fox News takes seriously its role in misdirecting their glassy-eyed, Trumpified audience away from his babbling and boorishness, and toward what they consider shocking and harmful revelations about the Democrats who want his job. A frequent target of Fox News is Bernie Sanders, whose lefty views are ripe for attack by the rightists at Fox. Never mind that those views are also favored by majorities of the American people. But that isn’t something that Fox News cares about.

The featured article on the Fox News website Monday morning had an incendiary headline stating that “Socialist Dem 2020 hopeful could be haunted by past praise for dictators.” That eye popping allegation appeared below a picture of Bernie Sanders flanked by inset photos of the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and the current Nicaraguan strongman Daniel Ortega. Clearly Fox was insinuating that Sanders was a supporter of these two repressive tyrants.

In reality, Fox was going back thirty years to twist some out of context comments by Sanders that don’t represent anything he believes today. For instance, Sanders related some memories of his youth that involved impressions he had of Castro:

“I remember, for some reason or another, being very excited when [former Cuban dictator] Fidel Castro made the revolution in Cuba,” he said, while speaking at the University of Vermont in 1986. “I was a kid … and it just seemed right and appropriate that poor people were rising up against rather ugly rich people.”

Setting aside the reference to Castro, that’s actually consistent with Sanders’ lifelong advocacy for the poor and working classes. And at the time, many Americans were hopeful that Castro’s revolution against the totalitarian Batista regime would bring freedom and fairness to all Cubans. The same was true for the remarks Sanders made about the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. They were being illegally attacked by the Contras, a band of American sponsored terrorists who were the beneficiaries of the criminal Iran-Contra operation run by Ronald Reagan and Oliver North. Sadly, in both cases, the hopes for democratic reforms were betrayed by leaders who made themselves into tyrants.

What’s most peculiar (and epically hypocritical) is how Fox is chastising Sanders for an alleged affinity to dictators. Sanders never actually praised them without simultaneously offering significant criticisms. And he was adamantly opposed to their authoritarian tendencies.

However, Fox failed to mention the much more obvious (and current) infatuations that Trump has with murderous tyrants around the world. He literally slobbered all over North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, saying that they “fell in love.” Earlier this month Trump asked “Why shouldn’t I like him?” And he praised him as “honorable” and a “real Leader.” This is a man who has killed thousands of his own people. Yet Trump even expressed a note of jealousy saying that he wants to be worshipped by Americans the way Kim is by North Koreans.

Trump has also made numerous adoring commentaries about his BFF, Vladimir Putin. He often affirms that they have a “great relationship.” He says that Putin is a “strong leader” who he “respects.” He takes Putin’s word over that of the U.S. intelligence community about the Russian hacking and election interference. He advances the interests of Russia on nearly every issue. To this day Trump has never said a negative thing about Putin.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Trump has also been complimentary toward brutal tyrants like Xi Jinping of China, Duterte of the Philippines, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, Erdogan of Turkey, and Saudi Arabia’s Mohammad Bin Salman, to name a few.

Meanwhile, Trump is constantly maligning Americans – politicians, journalists, FBI agents, celebrities, and his own cabinet and staffers – as corrupt, dishonest, sleazy, and even treasonous. He says worse things about Saturday Night Live than he does about white nationalists or neo-Nazis. But to Fox News, some vague, decades-old distortions of remarks by Sanders are breaking news and worthy of leading their reporting. Expect more of this atrocious bastardization of journalism by Fox and their ilk as the election cycle proceeds.

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

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

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

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hair Trump Threatens to Use His ‘Tough People’ – the Police, Military, Bikers – Against Democrats

For most his presidency, Donald Trump has demonstrated a perverse infatuation with the tyrannical despots who represent some of America’s most virulent enemies. From Vladimir Putin to Xi Jinping to Kim Jong Un to Muhammad Salman, Trump has shown an adoring preference for their brand of autocracy, and a deference to their flagrant lies over the facts provided by his own intelligence agencies.

Donald Trump

The compulsion by Trump to emulate these dictators has not been incidental. He has explicitly expressed his aspiration to command the same blind loyalty that these authoritarians insist upon. He pined over Xi.” becoming president for life. He yearned to be “worshipped” like Kim. He has spoken openly about “revolution” if he is impeached.

Now Trump has elaborated on these anti-democratic, un-American tendencies in an interview with the ultra-rightist Breitbart website. Rather than show respect for the diversity of opinion in American politics, Trump has articulated an approach to his critics that is overtly hostile and illegal. He told Breitbart that:

“I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”

That is an unambiguous threat of the sort that mobsters (with whom Trump is well familiar) would make against their foes. But it’s even worse than that.Trump is asserting that he personally has control of the police and the military and that they will obey his singular will. That’s the talk of a crazed, third world strongman, not a democratic president. Who is he proposing to attack with this fantasy force he’s pretending to command? Nancy Pelosi? Gavin Newsom? Robert Mueller?

And for some extra added totalitarian flavor, Trump insults the very troops that he thinks are his allies. He associates the police and the military with outlaw biker gangs who have no law enforcement authority, but whom Trump regards as part of his loony defense force.

These are the martinets of the Trump regime who he expects will bear arms against their fellow citizens. It’s all part of his campaign to divide America into hostile factions. And anyone not on his side will be maligned in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people,” just has he as already been doing for years to our nation’s free press. He will be the one source of truth and the one commander of his twisted anti-patriots. He really seems to be preparing for a Jonestown-like event wherein he orders his cult followers to make the final sacrifice.

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

Donald Trump’s Latest Psycho Tweetstorm: The Best Reason Yet to Invoke the 25th Amendment

The rapidly declining mental state of Donald Trump has been the subject of untold numbers of articles and analyses, including by professionals who view the President as a malignant narcissist who is a danger to the nation and the world. But there is no better indicator of the hazards Trump’s psychoses represent than his own frenzied ravings on Twitter.

Donald Trump, Padded Cell

When Trump gets a full head of steam, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the tsunami of lunacy that he unleashes. It’s pointless even to try. Take for example his outburst on Saturday morning. He was triggered by a report in the New York Times (which isn’t failing, it’s enjoying record success) that disclosed the existence of an FBI investigation into whether Trump was/is an asset of the Russian government.

There is abundant evidence to support that contention. Including his open infatuation with Vladimir Putin; his attacks on the media; his maligning of our allies in NATO and the European Union; his opposition to sanctions on Russia; his rejection of American intelligence in favor of information from Putin and the Kremlin; his refusal to accept that Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election; his firing of FBI Director James Comey and others; his chumminess with Russian operatives in the White House; his threats aimed at his own cabinet for pursuing legitimate investigations into Russian espionage against the U.S.; and so much more.

However, to hear Trump tell it, it’s all a paranoid conspiracy against the greatest president of all time who who is being attacked for his awesomeness and purity of heart. After reading the article in the Times (or having excerpts read to him), Trump mounted his Twitter machine and disgorged a steady stream of manic gibberish, almost all of which he has previously unfurled in numerous episodes of derangement. But reading it all of a piece is shocking, and not a little frightening. So buckle up:

Wow, just learned in the Failing New York Times that the corrupt former leaders of the FBI, almost all fired or forced to leave the agency for some very bad reasons, opened up an investigation on me, for no reason & with no proof, after I fired Lyin’ James Comey, a total sleaze!

Funny thing about James Comey. Everybody wanted him fired, Republican and Democrat alike. After the rigged & botched Crooked Hillary investigation, where she was interviewed on July 4th Weekend, not recorded or sworn in, and where she said she didn’t know anything (a lie),….

….the FBI was in complete turmoil (see N.Y. Post) because of Comey’s poor leadership and the way he handled the Clinton mess (not to mention his usurpation of powers from the Justice Department). My firing of James Comey was a great day for America. He was a Crooked Cop……

…..who is being totally protected by his best friend, Bob Mueller, & the 13 Angry Democrats – leaking machines who have NO interest in going after the Real Collusion (and much more) by Crooked Hillary Clinton, her Campaign, and the Democratic National Committee. Just Watch!

I have been FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President. At the same time, & as I have often said, getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. I fully expect that someday we will have good relations with Russia again!

Lyin’ James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter S and his lover, agent Lisa Page, & more, all disgraced and/or fired and caught in the act. These are just some of the losers that tried to do a number on your President. Part of the Witch Hunt. Remember the “insurance policy?” This is it!

This sounds more like a mental patient who has been hospitalized after running through the streets naked shouting at random cars and store mannequins, than a president. He is consumed with paranoia and a devout belief in his superiority and goodness. And his perceived enemies are unambiguously evil, omnipresent, and determined to destroy him. That isn’t the profile of a world leader. It’s the diagnosis for a psychopath. And for the sake of the nation – and the planet – Trump needs to be removed from office and placed in a facility where he can either get medial attention, and be punished for his obvious crimes.

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

Senile or Surrender? Trump’s Rambling Tweets Don’t Mention Border Wall Funds to End Shutdown

There has been considerable speculation for the past couple of years about whether Donald Trump is mentally stable or capable of performing his duties as president. His psychological condition has been questioned by mental health professionals and politicians from across the ideological spectrum. And now as the U.S. government is being shutdown over funding for Trump’s vanity border wall, those questions are getting harder to ignore.

Donald Trump

In a series of tweets on Saturday morning, the President predictably ranted about the shutdown that he previously took pride in creating. Even after saying on national television that he would take full responsibility for it, Trump tried to blame the Democrats who had already agreed to a Continuing Resolution with senate Republicans. It was only after wingnut rightist media cranks like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends complained that Trump reversed course and reneged on his word to sign the CR. But his morning’s tweetfest might be revealing some weakness in his resolve:

Setting aside the obvious lie that Trump is “working hard,” it’s notable how he is now tying the debate to only “Border Security.” Didn’t he leave something out there? Trump didn’t mention his wall in that tweet or the others that followed. And border security (minus the wall) has always been a part of the Democratic platform. Of course his omission may just be due to his inability to concentrate on anything for more than half a minute, unless it’s a mirror. But it might also be an indication that he recognizes that Democrats are not going to pacify his ego and allocate funds for a useless wall.

Trump later tweeted that he would having a big lunch with a bunch of people to discuss the matter. It’s comforting to know that he will be well fed while tens of thousands of Americans will not be getting paid this holiday season.

In addition to the border wall issue, Trump also tweeted about his intention to retreat from Syria. His remarks were especially reckless and dangerous:

First of all, ISIS is far from defeated. Estimates by his own administration say there are 30,000 ISIS fighters in Syria. On Friday his press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said that Trump had destroyed 99.9 percent of ISIS in Syria. If you do the math, that would mean that they started out with thirty million – which is patently absurd because that’s almost twice the total population of Syria.

However, Trump’s remarks that Turkey “should be able to easily take care of whatever remains,” are even more troubling. He’s right if what he means is that Turkey will take care of (i.e. slaughter) our allies, the Kurds, as soon as we leave. And he doesn’t bother to mention the fact that our retreat will leave the country to Russia and Iran for the foreseeable future. Vladimir Putin even praised Trump’s decision to run away. And it’s among the reasons that Defense Secretary Mattis resigned in protest, along with the U.S. special envoy to the coalition to defeat ISIS.

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

So as usual, Donald Trump is doing everything he can to please our enemies (especially Russia), while working overtime to harm our allies. And his efforts on the domestic front are even worse as he shuts down the government for Christmas and shows no sensitivity for the plight of fellow citizens. With every day Trump demonstrates that he is working against the American people (who don’t want the wall), and solely on his own behalf. Including even more instances of obstruction of justice to escape accountability for his many criminal activities. It’s long past time for him to go.

Fox & Friends Co-Host Brian Kilmeade Leaps Off the Trump Train, Says He ‘Refounded ISIS’

Things are getting really bad for Donald Trump. His secretary of Defense quit with a stinging rebuke of his policies and leadership. He’s heading for a prolonged shutdown that he took credit for in advance, even claiming to be proud of it. And all for a border wall that no one but his Deplorable cult followers want. The economy is in a tailspin with the markets negative for the whole year. And even his pals at Fox News are getting antsy about supporting his inane, reckless, and impulsive outbursts.

Sarah Huckabee-Sanders

Nothing is more representative of the trouble that Trump is in than when his favorite Fox News program, Fox and Friends, gets weak-kneed about backing up his latest idiocy. They have a record of supporting nearly anything he’s done, no matter how ludicrous or destructive or even illegal. But these remarks by co-host Brian Kilmeade during an interview with Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, really hits a low note for Trump at Fox (video below):

Kilmeade: He’s giving Russia a big win. Vladimir Putin praised him. He also is doing exactly what he criticized President Obama for doing. He said President Obama is the founder of ISIS. He just refounded ISIS. They’ve got 30,000 men there, and they’re already striking back.

That gets pretty much everything in there but an apology to Hillary Clinton for all the Benghazi and email bashing. Kilmeade noted that Putin is on Trump’s side regarding the Syria withdrawal. He compared Trump to his nemsis, Barack Obama. And he hung the founding of ISIS around Trump’s turkey neck.

For her part, Sanders acted like a deer already run down by the bus with the headlights in her face. She “respectfully, but vehemently” disagreed with Kilmeade’s analysis. But her defense of Trump was pitifully weak and devoid of any factual basis. She tried to turn the whole ISIS fight into a personal one between them and Trump saying that “If ISIS wants to pick a fight with somebody, they sure as hell don’t want to pick one with Donald Trump.” Something tells me that they really do. He’s a coward who can’t concentrate on anything for more than half a minute, unless it’s a mirror.

Then Sanders emulated her boss by making up numbers to glorify him. “We’ve wiped out 99.9% of ISIS in Syria,” she blurted out nonsensically. Where she got that figure from is – well it’s dark and ugly. Since there are estimated to be 30,000 ISIS fighters in Syria today, that means that before having allegedly wiped out 99.9% of them there were 30,000,000. That’s nearly twice the population of Syria.

Sanders also parroted Trump’s own assertions that he has done more damage to ISIS than anyone. She insisted that he surely never did anything to help them. To which Kilmeade replied “Leaving is helping.” And he actually called her out for lying saying that “The word on the ground is different from what you just said.” That may be the first time that Sanders has been called a liar by a Fox News host on the air. And if it’s any indicator of what’s to come, Trump might as well start packing his bags for Mar-A-Lago – or prison.

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

Hair Trump Declares that ‘Something Has to Be Done’ About CNN Exercising Free Speech

The hostility that Donald Trump has shown for the media has been a constant dating back to his first days on the campaign trail. It only escalated as time went by and his insults became anti-constitutional assertions that the media is “the enemy of the people.” Add to that his overt threats, incitements to violence, and banning of reporters he doesn’t like, and you have the very model of a modern media oppressor.

Donald Trump, CNN

On Monday morning Trump reached another new low in his assaults on the free press. In a pair tweets the President attacked his favorite nemesis, CNN for having a “powerful voice” that is “portraying the United States in an unfair and and false way.” He tweeted that:

Make no mistake, this is a full frontal attack on the First Amendment of the Constitution. Trump has no business commenting on the ratings of a news network that covers his corrupt and criminal administration independently and accurately (FYI: CNN is enjoying some of their highest ratings in the network’s history). Especially considering that he has already tried to ban their White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, from the presidential press corps, but lost when a federal court issued a temporary restraining order to prohibit his flagrant discrimination.

However, even worse is Trump’s proposal that the United States start its own “Worldwide Network” to disseminate what can only be presumed to be Trump-fluffing propaganda. The notion that the U.S. should launch a network to compete with commercial news outlets around the world is a frightening expansion of government interfering with the press. It is the sort of state-run tripe that totalitarian regimes like that of Russia’s Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kin Jong Un engage in. And note that Trump admits that his intention Is to produce only positive propaganda that portrays him as “GREAT!”

The U.S. already has government media services that distribute approved content around the world via the United States Agency for Global Media (formerly that Broadcasting Board of Governors). That agency runs the Voice of American, Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, Office of Cuba Broadcasting, and other government managed broadcast operations.

But what Trump is proposing is something far more ambitious and dishonest. He wants a network that competes with commercial news enterprises like CNN, SKY News, the BBC, Al Jazeera, and more. He wants a network that will always praise him, defend him, and malign his critics. He wants constant adulation and coverage that portrays him as the returning Messiah. He wants cult worship.

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

Well, Fox News is already doing that. But setting that aside, presidential hero-worship is not the role of a government that was founded on the principles of freedom of the press. It is neither honest nor ethical. And there is no agency under federal law that could house such a media mutation. But it does display the aspirations of a wannabe dictator who is obsessed with controlling all of the media that covers him and his regime. And it is no surprise that Trump is openly advocating for something so contrary to American values. But this pathetic pandering to himself and his over-inflated ego will never fly in the U.S. Maybe Vladimir has some network space for it.

SRSLY? Trump Dislikes the Term ‘Deep State’ Because ‘I’m Really Not a Conspiratorial Person’

It’s wonderful to have a president with a sharp a wit and a keen sense of humor. And maybe someday we will have such a president again. Until then we will have to get used to Donald Trump and his wacky lack of any self awareness whatsoever. He is a man that is so warped by flaming narcissism that he actually believes that he is loved by a nation where his polling is at historic lows. He even refers to himself as Your favorite President who “did nothing wrong.”

Donald Trump, Deep State

In an interview with The Hill, Trump spoke glowingly about his State TV (aka Fox News) Shadow Cabinet. Referring to the network’s most sycophantic Trump-fluffers, the President fondly singled out “the great Lou Dobbs, the great Sean Hannity, the wonderful, great Jeanie Pirro.” And you know the feelings are mutual. Trump cited them as the reason he declassified Russia-related documents that he didn’t even read. But you have to wonder what these conspiracy hounding crackpots will think when they find out that Trump has renounced their favorite theoretical label: the Deep State.

“I don’t like to use it,” Trump said, “because it sounds so conspiratorial, and believe it or not I’m really not a conspiratorial person.”

Really? That is such a megalithic distortion of reality that it’s hard to comprehend how he can be that delusional and still get through the day without stripping naked and skipping down Pennsylvania Avenue singing “I Feel Pretty.” Even the The Hill couldn’t let it stand without an instant fact check:

“Trump may not like the term, but he has used it more than once. At a rally earlier this month, Trump used it to refer to the anonymous author of an op-ed published in The New York Times, denouncing ‘un-elected deep state operatives who defy the voters to push their own secret agendas are truly a threat to democracy itself.’ He described the ‘deep state’ as a threat to democracy in the Sept. 7 speech.”

And that is just the beginning. Trump has referenced the imaginary “Deep State” on numerous occasions. He has long been convinced that there is a secret governmental cabal that is out to get him. He rants about it incessantly. It’s a conspiracy that includes the agencies he is currently overseeing as President, including the Department of Justice, the FBI, the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the State Department, etc. And it’s so pervasive that he can’t rely on these agencies, so he turns instead to his BFF, Vladimir Putin (who has recently been stoking the Deep State mythology in private phone calls with Trump). What’s more, it’s a regular feature of his Twitter feed:

Nevertheless, Trump now incomprehensibly asserts that he doesn’t like the term anymore. Notice that he doesn’t say that there is no Deep State. Only that he isn’t comfortable with that particular descriptor. Nothing can sway him from his long-standing conspiracy theories. After all, this is the same guy who pushed the Birther conspiracy for years. He believes that vaccines cause autism. He insisted that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrated 9/11. He thinks climate change is hoax started by China. Most recently he decided that the 3,000 estimated deaths in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria was made up by the scoundrels at George Washington University.

But more problematic is the fact that the people Trump admires most – his Fox News Council of Propaganda – use the term even more than than he does. Hannity has made it into a brand that encompsses nearly everything he does on his program. What will they do now that Trump has expressed his disdain for the term? Will they drop it in deference to Dear Leader? Will they convince him that he should reconsider and embrace it? Will they go rogue and use it in defiance of his authority? Or will he forget that he ever renounced it and go on using as if nothing happened (that’s my bet)? Tune in next week for the shocking conclusion to this earth shaking dilemma.

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

Total Transparency? What Trump Really Means When He Lies About Exposing the Phony Witch Hunt

There has never been a president who has expressed more animosity toward the intelligence community he is supposedly leading than Donald Trump, His open disdain for the Department of Justice, the FBI, and all of the other intelligence agencies throughout the federal government and the military, is well documented. He even prefers the word of Russia’s Vladimir Putin to his own intel resources.

Donald Trump

On Monday evening it was revealed that Trump ordered the declassification of a select group of documents involving the the investigation of his nefarious connections to Russia. It’s a conspicuously cherry-picked set of docs that were previously requested by the smarmy and ultra-biased Republican chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes. Needless to say, these items were chosen to deceitfully advance Trump’s paranoid “witch hunt” narrative. However, they actually pose a significant risk to intelligence sources and methods, while also adding to Trump’s expanding portfolio of obstruction of justice charges.

So naturally Trump made a statement on Tuesday morning to try to shore up his crumbling arguments against the work of special counsel Robert Mueller (video below). Trump unironically told the press that “I want total transparency.” Sure he does. He continued saying that:

“This is a witch hunt. Republicans are seeing it. The Democrats know it’s a witch hunt, too, but they don’t want to admit it because that’s not good politics for them. But it’s a terrible witch hunt and it’s hurt our country. And the things that have been found over the past couple of weeks about text messages back and forth are a disgrace to our nation. And I want transparency, and so does everybody else. As you know, congressional committees came to me and they wanted this, and I did it based on their request. But I think it’s a good thing because we should open it up for people to see.”

It’s funny how Trump thinks he knows what Democrats want and are secretly thinking. Particularly since he doesn’t even know what is in the documents that he just declassified at the request of partisan hacks in Congress. But it’s his claim to wanting transparency that really tests the limits of believability. If Trump is really committed to transparency, here are a few other matters that he might want to consider being transparent about:

  • His tax returns. He promised to release them several times, but that’a promise he never intended to keep. Presumably due to the numerous illegal and embarrassing things we would learn if he did release them.
  • Transcript of meeting with Vladimir Putin. Trump met with Putin for a couple of hours in Helsinki, but has refused to disclose what was discussed, even to his own national security officials.
  • Obama’s birth certificate. Trump said that “investigators” he sent to Hawaii “cannot believe what they’re finding.” We know how they feel.
  • Brett Kavanaugh’s file. Tens of thousands of pages relating to Kavanaugh’s service in the George W. Bush White House are still being withheld by Trump.
  • Emails and text messages related to Russia. While Trump did selectively declassify some of these documents, they were limited to those produced by people he regards as “deep state” enemies (James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Bruce Ohr) He refuses to release the same sort of documents by Devin Nunes, Jeff Sessions, Sean Hannity, Wikileaks, Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, etc.

This is not intended to be a comprehensive list. Trump is surely withholding much more information regarding his finances, his campaign, his relationship with Putin and Russia, and his myriad relationships with the women he was cheating on his wife (wives) with. This is not the behavior of someone genuinely interested in transparency. It’s just another dishonest representation by a notorious liar who is now trying to employ the deceitful, punitive practices of the dictators he admires.

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