Why is Trump So Scared? Bill Barr Refused to Lie that He Did Nothing Illegal Re:Ukraine

The spectacle of watching the President of the United States whine like a petulant child never gets any easier to bear. Yet this is what the American people are being forced to contend with on a daily basis. Donald Trump spends much of his day tweeting about how victimized he is by those meanies in the press and even his own administration. This is the person who occupies what is commonly called the most powerful office in the world. But he can’t stop griping like a toddler who wants to stay up past his bedtime.

Donald Trump Sweating

It’s usually pretty easy to determine what is most offending Trump by the frequency of his exasperated tweets. And on Thursday morning the irritation that chafed the paper-thin skin of the President was typical of his snowflakey sensitivities. He fired of a multi-tweet tirade aimed at a frequent foe: the Washington Post. They published an article that revealed that Trump had asked his Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr, to hold a press conference and announce that Trump had done nothing illegal in his dealings with Ukrainian President Zelensky. Trump’s tweetery groused plaintively that…

Years ago, when Media was legitimate, people known as ‘Fact Checkers’ would always call to check and see if a story was accurate. Nowadays they don’t use ‘Fact Checkers’ anymore, they just write whatever they want!”
[Just because fact-checkers find that you’re lying doesn’t mean they don’t exist]

The story in the Amazon Washington Post, of course picked up by Fake News CNN, saying ‘President Trump asked for AG Barr to host a news conference clearing him on Ukraine,’ is totally untrue and just another FAKE NEWS story with anonymous sources that don’t exist….”
[Just because you don’t like what they say doesn’t mean sources don’t exist either]

….The LameStream Media, which is The Enemy of the People, is working overtime with made up stories in order to drive dissension and distrust!
[Just because Stalin used to decry the media as “the enemy of the people” doesn’t mean Trump is a fascist – oh, wait…]

Bill Barr did not decline my request to talk about Ukraine. The story was a Fake Washington Post con job with an ‘anonymous’ source that doesn’t exist. Just read the Transcript. The Justice Department already ruled that the call was good. We don’t have freedom of the press!
[Just because the “transcript” affirmed your guilt doesn’t mean you can continue to lie about the Justice Department ruling that your call was “good.” They didn’t. And WaPo is exercising freedom of the press. You are threatening it]

The degenerate Washington Post MADE UP the story about me asking Bill Barr to hold a news conference. Never happened, and there were no sources!
[Just because you are a well-documented degenerate doesn’t mean everyone else is]

The Amazon Washington Post and three lowlife reporters, Matt Zapotosky, Josh Dawsey, and Carol Leonnig, wrote another Fake News story, without any sources (pure fiction), about Bill Barr & myself. We both deny this story, which they knew before they wrote it. A garbage newspaper!
[Just because you have been a low life grifter and charlatan your whole life doesn’t mean you can malign respected journalists you don’t even know]

Of course, Trump’s documented extortion of Zelensky has been confirmed by the testimony of several witnesses, including Trump himself, who admitted on national television that he asked Zelensky to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. So what could have rattled Trump so much that he unleashed this tweetstorm attacking the Washington Post over an issue that goes back several weeks?

WaPo’s story touches several nerves that are famously tender for Trump. He is triggered by anything brushing up against him in these areas. Consequently, his fear impulse goes off because…

  • …he can’t allow any allegation of his guilt to persist.
  • …he can’t let stand the assertion that Barr refused a direct order to defend him.
  • …he must crush any impression that he isn’t the master of everything and everyone around him.
  • …by attacking the story he can imply that Barr actually did declare that he’s innocent.
  • …to him, Barr’s refusal would be the same as a conviction.
  • …any suggestion of his guilt gnaws at him like a flesh-eating virus.
  • …everyone in the Trump regime must have the same criminal intent – and exposure to legal jeopardy – as he does.

However, Trump’s obsession is absurdly misplaced. He really has nothing to gain by pretending that his request of Barr didn’t occur. As for Barr, by complying he would have only cemented his reputation as a bootlicking Trump-fluffer. After all, no one outside of Trump’s cadre of Deplorables would have believed him anyway. Barr is just another of Trump’s sycophantic minions who the world recognizes as wholly biased and untrustworthy.

Take for example, Sen. Lindsey Graham (video below), whose latest glassy-eyed defense of Trump has devolved into the claim that Trump couldn’t have engaged in an illegal quid pro quo because he’s too incompetent. And therefore Graham commits to remaining ignorant by refusing to read the transcripts of testimony. WOW! With friends like these, who needs enemas?

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

Wannabe Dictator Trump Proposes Banning Reporters He Doesn’t Like From the White House

The legacy that Donald Trump has said he wants to follow him when his presidency is over is that he exposed the “massive dishonesty in the Fake News.” He’s as likely to be remembered for that farcical delusion as for being the first man to walk on the moon. But history will undoubtedly record him as one of the most antagonistic presidents toward the Constitution’s protection of a free press.

Donald Trump Tyrant Dictator

As if to secure that title for posterity, Trump tweeted on Saturday morning what amounts to threat aimed at a news enterprise that he has long despised – The Washington Post. Trump’s festering hatred for the Post stems from his paranoid aversion to any media that has the audacity to tell the truth about him because he knows what that will lead to. He said that…

In that missive Trump achieved an impressively manic Level Four Fury by packing the adjectives “nasty, lightweight, disgusting,” and “fake,” all into one tweet. But worst of all, he proposed that the Post reporters be banned from White House grounds simply for doing their job. That’s typical of Trump’s raging authoritarian tendencies, wherein he believes that he has the right to pick and choose who is allowed to be a journalist.

He’s tried this twice before in recent weeks when he attempted to revoke the White House credentials of CNN reporter Jim Acosta and Playboy columnist Brian Karem. In both cases Trump lost in court and the journalists’ credentials where restored. This obviously gnaws at Trump who has openly yearned for the sort of tyrannical control of the press that his pal Vladimir Putin enjoys.

What Trump was reacting to was a Washington Post article by Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker that accurately described Trump’s wasted summer of embarrassment and failure. The headline read “Trump’s lost summer: Aides claim victory, but others see incompetence and intolerance.” The article was well sourced throughout and painted a clear picture of…

“…what some Trump advisers and allies characterize as a lost summer defined by self-inflicted controversies and squandered opportunities. […] The two months between Independence Day and Labor Day offered a fresh and vivid portrait of the president as seen by Trump’s critics — incompetent, indecisive, intolerant and ineffective.”

Trump included in his tweet a link to an op-ed by his press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, in the wingnut Washington Examiner. She tried to counter the Post’s article with examples of positive news stories about Trump that she said the Post ignored. The only problem with that was that the Post actually did cover those stories at the time. It’s astonishing that an alleged “press secretary” could write such a poorly researched op-ed, or that anyone would publish it. As for the Post, their executive editor, Marty Baron, defended his reporters and blasted Trump saying that:

“The president’s statement fits into a pattern of seeking to denigrate and intimidate the press. It’s unwarranted and dangerous, and it represents a threat to a free press in this country.”

That’s the Trump Media Doctrine in a nutshell. His paranoia and fragile ego drive him to attack the press with unsubstantiated charges of fakery and the infamous Stalinist rhetoric that “the media is the enemy of the people.” His hostility toward unfettered journalism even extends to friendly media like Fox News who Trump recently lambasted as “not working for us anymore,” and ordered his cult followers to “start looking for a new news outlet.” And on Friday he summoned Fox’s White House correspondent, John Roberts, to the Oval Office for an official spanking because he wasn’t worshipful enough.

So there is no one in the media who is safe. Trump will viciously assault his critics. And he will callously abandon his friends. He demands unwavering loyalty and the pure exaltation of Dear Leader. In order to avoid his wrath you must hate those whom he hates. And you must defend him at all times, no matter how foolish or contrary to American principles. And unfortunately, there are those in both the right-wing media and the Republican Nationalist Party who are all too willing to comply with those political terms of enslavement.

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

Sleazy Don: Trump Retweets Meme that Says ‘Democrats Are the True Enemies of America’

It’s been said that when you find yourself in hole, stop digging. That, of course, isn’t Donald Trump’s philosophy. He’s been known to triple-down on the most repulsive and offensive outbursts without regard for decency or respect for the office of the President. And now he’s backing up the bull(shit)dozer to expand his excavation efforts in the wake of his ever worsening racist tirades.

Donald Trump, Democrats

Trump spent Tuesday morning reiterating his baseless insults and charges of malfeasance aimed mainly at African-American critics in Congress. He outrightly, and without evidence, accused Rep. Elijah Cummings of stealing federal funds sent to Baltimore. [Note: As a congressman, Cummings has no access to funds sent to city or state jurisdictions]. And while there is an obvious racial component to Trump’s noxious blather, he was also triggered by the fact that Cummings is the chairman of the House Oversight Committee that is investigating an assortment of crimes committed by Trump and his family of Swamp-dwellers.

Trump has also been spewing lies like a busted fire hydrant. He whined that “the Washington Post is a Russian asset.” He’s been doing a lot of that lately. Then he said that he is “the least racist person there is anywhere in the world.” If that isn’t a psychopathic danger signal, nothing is.

Trump also completely made up another of his fairy tales of Trumpian heroics recalling an invented memory about 9/11, saying that “I was down there also, but I’m not considering myself a first responder. But I was down there. I spent a lot of time down there with you.” By “down there” he must mean Mar-a-Lago. That was followed by this gem of deranged fantasy: “The African American people have been calling the White House. They have never been so happy as what a president has done.” Never? So those eight years of the first African-American president were just a mildly pleasant diversion?

But worst of all, Trump allowed his true feelings to show about the Democratic Party, which just happens to be the majority political party in the United States. Trump retweeted a meme that had a single message of blatant fascist authoritarianism: “Democrats Are the True Enemies of America.” [Update: The account of the QAnon supporting, conspiracy crackpot who tweeted the meme has since been suspended by Twitter].

Up until now, this is a diatribe that Trump reserved for the free press, a cherished part of the Constitution’s First Amendment. But now he is applying it to the millions of Americans who align themselves with working people, respect for diversity, access to healthcare and education, tax fairness, the environment, and the sort of diplomacy that promotes peace and prosperity around the world.

Trump has finally admitted that he thinks Democrats are not just a political party that opposes his Republican Nationalist Party, but he believes that they are literally enemies of United States. That view by itself represents a dangerous threat to the very concept of democracy.

To be clear, Trump is calling the Democratic majority of the House of Representative enemies of America. He’s calling Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer enemies of America. He’s calling the governors and mayors of the nation’s most populous and prosperous states and cities enemies of America. And he’s calling every citizen who identifies as a Democrat, an enemy of America. That’s a whole lot of enemies that Trump is declaring from his perch in the White House. It is, in fact, the majority of the country.

It’s notable that Trump retweeted this nauseating meme a few hours after tweeting about an infrastructure bill that he hoped would be passed in Congress. He praised the “[strong interest] from Republicans and Democrats. Do I hear the beautiful word, BIPARTISAN? Get it done. I am with you!” Really? He’s with the people that he thinks are the enemies of America?

A better question is should any Democrat – or even patriotic Republican – be with Trump? And the answer to that is “Hell No!” And that also goes for any Republican who is too frightened or compromised to denounce what Trump is saying now about the citizens and politicians and journalists that don’t kneel down obediently to Trump’s imaginary divine authority.

There have been way too many times that it’s been said that Trump has “crossed a line” It’s been said about his racism, his collusion with Russia, his obstruction of justice, his financial corruption, his moral depravity, etc. But this time it should be plain to everyone who loves this country that he is utterly unfit to serve as president, or any other position of public trust.

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

Aspiring Tyrant Trump Ponders Not Leaving White House, Accuses New York Times of Treason

If it’s Sunday, it’s time for our regularly scheduled Sunday Morning Tweetstorm by the totally “stable genius” who is currently occupying what he thinks is the White Nationalist House. That’s right, Donald Trump is spending Father’s Day posting hostile attacks on anyone he doesn’t believe is sufficiently adoring. But not to worry, when he’s done he’s going golfing with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-Sycophant), so his kids won’t have to suffer his repugnant company.

Donald Trump

In today’s episode of Trump’s Tweet Tirade, he is lashing out at the media, because not having done so since yesterday must be driving him crazy. And he is in a ripe mood that further illustrates the ravages of a mind consumed by paranoia and narcissism:

First of all, Trump’s proposal for a poll comparing his insults toward two nationally respected newspapers doesn’t really make any sense. A more interesting poll would be one that compares the honesty and deceitfulness of the press to Trump himself. Oh wait. Many polls have already been done on that and Trump comes out the loser every single time. The American people repeatedly say that they trust the media – whether it be the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NBC, or any other news source polled – over our notoriously perfidious president.

It’s becoming a bit tedious to have to continually point out every time that Trump invokes Stalin to malign the press as “the enemy of the people.” But that’s just too grotesque an abuse of his position to let it go by. And speaking of abuse, Trump is also speculating about declaring himself Dictator-for-Life, just like his heroes Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, and Kim Jong Un. It’s a sentiment that he has expressed before, and continues to be abhorrent and terrifying. And he is pursuing a common path among despots to assume power by attacking the press, and even accusing it of crimes punishable by death:

For the record, the Times actually consulted with Trump’s national security team prior to publishing their story on U.S. cyberattacks against Russia. They responded to Trump’s tweet saying that:

“Accusing the press of treason is dangerous. We described the article to the government before publication. As our story notes, President Trump’s own national security officials said there were no concerns.”

So they were assured that there was no reason to withhold the story on national security grounds. Apparently Trump didn’t bother to check with his own people before calling the Times treasonous. What’s more, Trump also claims that the story isn’t true. So then how could it be treason to report something that he’s saying didn’t happen?

If these remarks by Trump cause you to be concerned about the welfare of the nation, you aren’t alone. There is a growing movement to have Congress begin an impeachment inquiry. And the more Trump displays this kind of mental impairment and animosity to American principles and institutions (including admitting that he would take dirt on political opponents from foreign enemies), the more people who will demand that he be removed from office and prosecuted for his many obvious crimes. And the sooner the better for the sake of the nation – and the world.

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

Gut-Brained Donald Trump Accuses Mueller of McCarthyism in a Rant that is Pure McCarthyism

We now have Donald Trump to thank for an indelible image of his intellectual prowess. In an interview with the Jeff Bezos/Amazon Washington Post, Trump bragged about his own “high levels of intelligence” and offered as proof that “I have a gut, and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me.” Of course, it goes without saying that nobody’s brain can tell Trump anything. And he does have huge gut.

Donald Trump

The gut-infused brain of Trump later took to his Twitter machine to continue a tirade he has been unleashing against special counsel Robert Mueller this week. His previous tweetstorming certified just how fearful and desperate he is. But the latest addition to his wild-eyed raving is a true head-smacking classic:

Trump’s assertion that Mueller is engaging in the reprehensible tactics of the late, disgraced senator Joseph McCarthy is pure, unadulterated McCarthyism. The red-baiting senator famously held up a sheet of paper and declared that it contained the names of active communists in the United States government. And Trump is doing the very same thing in Twitterese by declaring that he knows of “major players” who are saying that Mueller’s team is “viciously telling witnesses to lie.” Trump, like McCarthy, doesn’t actually name those players or provide any evidence that Mueller is strong-arming witnesses to commit perjury. It’s all baseless innuendo and outright slander by a sitting president.

But that’s not all. Trump also retweeted a post (four of them actually) by an anonymous Trump-fluffing Twitter fan, TheTrumpTrain, that similarly channels the McCarthy method. The tweet said that “Now that Russia collusion is a proven lie, when do the trials for treason begin?” Setting aside the fact that Russia collusion is supported by mountains of evidence, let’s focus on the image in the tweet. It featured a jail cell populated by Mueller, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, John Podesta, Loretta Lynch, James Comey, and even the Deputy Attorney General that Trump appointed, Rod Rosenstein. Once again, all of these people are being slandered McCarthy-style for crimes that are unnamed and for which there is no evidence.

Trump is fond of raising McCarthyism as a slur against his critics. He has done so on Twitter several times recently, with each tweet an example of what real McCarthyism looks like:

This tendency by Trump to weaponize the McCarthy legacy is peculiar considering that he worked with and admired Roy Cohn, McCarthy’s attorney. So you have to wonder if Trump really believes that McCarthyism is a bad thing, or if he’s just exploiting it to attack his foes. But Trump wouldn’t say things that he doesn’t believe just to gain some perceived advantage for himself, would he? (Okay, stop laughing).

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

And for some truthiness on the subject of gut knowledge, here is Stephen Colbert at the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2006:

Trump’s Abuse of Power: New Democratic Intel Committee Chair to Probe Attacks on the Media

The success of the Democratic “Blue Wave” that rolled over the Republican Nationalist Party last Tuesday – and continues still – is certain to have a profound effect on the next Congress. With a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, every committee chair will be a Democrat who is now free to hold the Trump regime accountable for its many unlawful and unethical acts.

Donald Trump

One of those new chairs is Adam Schiff of the House Intelligence Committee. He has a broad mandate to investigate the administration on everything from the Russia collusion to obstruction of justice to Trump’s unsavory relationships with foreign dictators like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un. And on Sunday morning Schiff identified another topic of inquiry that is critically important to the nation’s security and freedom.

Schiff told Axios that he is planning to hold hearings on Trump’s reckless and anti-constitutional assaults on the free press. This is long overdue for a censorious president who whines “fake news” whenever he doesn’t like the facts about him being accurately reported. It’s overdue for notorious liar who repeatedly refers to the media in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.”

Just this week Trump attacked several journalists, calling them “stupid” and “rude” and “racist” and otherwise insulting them personally and professionally. And it is not inconsequential that three of those reporters were African-American women. Trump also suspended the White House pass for CNN’s Jim Acosta, falsely accusing him of “placing his hands” on an intern who was trying to grab the microphone away from him. Later, Trump threatened to revoke more passes in the future.

According to Axios, there two primary issues that Schiff cited as worthy of further inquiry:

1) Schiff said Trump “was secretly meeting with the postmaster [general] in an effort to browbeat the postmaster [general] into raising postal rates on Amazon.”

“This appears to be an effort by the president to use the instruments of state power to punish Jeff Bezos and The Washington Post,” Schiff said. Jeff Bezos is founder, chairman and CEO of Amazon, and owns the Washington Post.

2) Schiff said Congress also need to examine whether Trump attempted to block AT&T’s merger with Time Warner as payback to CNN.

“We don’t know, for example, whether the effort to hold up the merger of the parent of CNN was a concern over antitrust, or whether this was an effort merely to punish CNN,” Schiff said.

Trump is an infantile grudge holder who fervently despises CNN and regularly seeks to disparage the network without any valid cause. That’s why he unsuccessfully opposed the merger with AT&T. Likewise, Trump hates (and is jealous of) real billionaire Jeff Bezos, who’s ownership of the Washington Post triggered Trump’s baseless attacks on Amazon.

These and other acts of Trumpian tyranny warrant investigation and sanction of the President. Not merely to slap the wrist of a crybaby wannabe dictator, but to preserve the sanctity of the free press and the Constitution. Schiff is doing the right thing and his plans should remind Trump and his GOP co-conspirators that elections have consequences.

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

Delusional Washington Post Op-Ed Calls Trump ‘The Most Honest President in American History’

There is one thing that most fair-minded observers can agree on with regard to Donald Trump: He lies virtually every time he opens his mouth. He lies about things both big and small. He lies about matters political and personal. It is often said that he is a pathological liar, but isn’t fair to people who suffer from that psychological syndrome and can’t help themselves. Trump lies deliberately and knowingly.

Donald Trump

Which makes the opinion column by Marc Thiessen in the Washington Post especially absurd. The title of the screed is all you need to know about how preposterous the rest of it is: “Trump could be the most honest president in modern history.” Thiessen is a former speechwriter for George W. Bush and a reliably off-kilter wingnut. But in this article he has devolved into a full blown Trump cultist who is willing to contort reality to fit his ludicrous premise. The piece begins with this bit of self-contradiction:

“Donald Trump may be remembered as the most honest president in modern American history.

“Don’t get me wrong, Trump lies all the time. He said that he ‘enacted the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history’ (actually they are the eighth largest) and that ‘our economy is the strongest it’s ever been in the history of our country’ (which may one day be true, but not yet). In part, it’s a New York thing — everything is the biggest and the best.”

So Thiessen holds the implausible opinion that a president who “lies all the time” will be remembered as the “most honest” ever. That’s the sort of logic that runs rampant in the Trump Cult, where Trump, and only Trump, must be believed, no matter how ridiculous his baseless outbursts are. Thiessen justifies his slobbering praise by saying that “when it comes to the real barometer of presidential truthfulness — keeping his promises — Trump is a paragon of honesty.” But there is a big difference between honesty and promises. For instance, if Trump promised to stop the Martian invasion, he could not later claim that he was honest because there aren’t any Martian soldiers surrounding the White House. (Although we probably shouldn’t give him any ideas- Space Force!)

The fact that Trump has kept some of his campaign promises has no bearing whatsoever on his honesty, or obvious lack thereof. But even worse for Thiessen, Trump’s record of keeping promises is abysmal. According to the PolitiFact Trump Meter, the President has has kept a paltry 13.7 percent of his promises to date. The examples itemized by Thiessen are mostly promises that were previously made by the Republican congress. And it was Congress that fulfilled them. Some of Thiessen’s examples of Trump’s promises kept have not been. Like his pledge “to open China’s markets and stop its theft of intellectual property.” All Trump has done about that is implement tariffs that are hurting American companies and workers more than China.

Among the unkept promises are the ones that Trump pushed the hardest for. He has made no progress on the border wall (although he lies that he did), or getting Mexico to pay for it. He has failed to repeal ObamaCare. Although he has tried to sabotage it on the margins. There has been no appointment of a special prosecutor to “lock up” Hillary Clinton. He is reneging on his pledge not to cut Social Security and Medicare. He has not enacted, or even proposed, an infrastructure bill. Not only has he failed to eliminate the deficit, he is growing it to record numbers. And, of course, he still hasn’t released his tax returns.

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

So by Thiessen’s “real barometer” of promises kept, Trump is a miserable failure. Of course, the barometer that everyone else uses to determine honesty is whether or not someone makes statements that are true or false. And by that measure Trump is way beyond being a miserable failure. It’s interesting to note that Thiessen’s op-ed was published by the Washington Post, which also publishes an ongoing catalogue of Trump lies. To date they have documented more than 5,000 of them. Apparently Thiessen doesn’t read the Washington Post.

ON TRUST: Donald Trump Polls Way Less than CNN – and Every Other TV News Network

For someone who is obsessed with castigating the news media as “fake” and “enemies,” Donald Trump is sure suffering from an approval deficit by the American people. He tweets furiously at all hour of the day and night about how dishonest the press is, but all of that animus and bile has produced nothing in terms of respect from the public at large.

Donald Trump

A survey conducted for the Brand Keys Research Intelligencer rated the levels of trust for each of the major television news networks. The results placed the BBC at the top of the pile (with 90%) as the most trusted source. Fox News came in second (87%), followed by PBS (86%). It’s important to remember that this survey was conducted by surveying respondents who watched the rated network at least three times a week. So to some extent it was collecting the views of people who were regular viewers. That would explain the Fox number, whose viewers are devoted and worshipful cultists.

The placement of the rest of the broadcast and cable news networks ranged respectably from MSNBC (80%), CBS (72%), NBC (70%), ABC (69%), and CNN (69%). But the most interesting number in this survey was the one for Donald Trump. He managed to pull in a paltry twenty-nine percent who say that he is trustworthy. That’s less than a third of what the BBC did. Even more troubling from his perspective is that it’s less than half of what his arch nemesis CNN did. And when the numbers were broken down by political affiliation, Trump’s base of Republicans still only rated him at a measly thirty-five percent. Even lower, of course, were Independents (22%) and Democrats (14%).

So while Trump has spent the past two years relentlessly attacking the media in the most vicious terms, he has managed to achieve nothing but solid goose eggs in terms of respect or trust from the public. This survey affirms similar polls conducted in the past that found Trump trailing every news enterprise, TV or print, on the question of trust. And by wide margins.

It also affirms the results of a unique study published by The Economist this week that revealed that the media that Trump hates the most (New York Times, Washington Post, etc.) actually became stronger and more popular during the seventeen months since Trump was inaugurated. So despite his efforts to drag down any press operation that wasn’t unflinchingly adoring, he actually had the opposite effect of boosting their profiles with the public. What’s more, his reliance on, and promotion of, Fox News and Breitbart produced sharp downslopes for those flagrantly biased outfits. And if that’s what he means by “winning,” let’s have more of it.

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

‘Far More Fiction than Fact’: Trump Tweets the Perfect Description of His Own Twitter Feed

Heaven forbid that a single Sunday would go by without Donald Trump assuming his position on his throne and proclaiming the way the world is – or should be – on Twitter. His pronouncements have become a regular feature of the daily life of the White House. And this Sunday was no different as Trump took on everything from Hillary Clinton to Syria’s “Animal Assad” to President Obama.

Donald Trump Toilet

Of particular note was Trump’s latest broadside at Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his Washington Post. The tweet was a familiar attack on the newspaper that he hates so viscerally. And it all stemmed from an article that revealed the diminished status of his Chief of Staff, John Kelly.

Notice that Trump’s criticism is as substantively vacant as usual. He doesn’t cite one story that is “made up garbage.” He doesn’t give one example of anything being “poorly written.” And he can’t backup his delusional assertion that “many of [the sources] don’t exist.” He is just ranting uncontrollably in a fit of sweaty rage, unable to contain his anxiety or support the wild notions he is spewing. It’s another symptom of the fear that is eating him up. Although it is an excellent description of the blather he posts on Twitter.

The article in the Washington Post that got him all riled up was titled “‘When you lose that power’: How John Kelly faded as White House disciplinarian.” The Post did extensive research and was “based on interviews with 16 administration officials, outside advisers and presidential confidants, many of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to assess the chief of staff.”” The use of undisclosed sources is a critical part of journalism. It protects people in positions to know detailed and intimate facts from the retribution of powerful bosses. Every legitimate news enterprises uses them. Trump even uses them and cites articles where they’ve been used, so long as the article advances his interests.

For some idea of what made Trump go berserk this Sunday morning, here are a few choice excerpts from the Post that paint an accurate picture of the chaos in Trump’s White House:

“The recurring and escalating clashes between the president and his chief of staff trace the downward arc of Kelly’s eight months in the White House. Both his credibility and his influence have been severely diminished, administration officials said, a clear decline for the retired four-star Marine Corps general who arrived with a reputation for integrity and a mandate to bring order to a chaotic West Wing.”

“After White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly pressured President Trump last fall to install his top deputy, Kirstjen Nielsen, atop the Department of Homeland Security, the president lost his temper when conservative allies argued that she wasn’t sufficiently hard line on immigration. ‘You didn’t tell me she was a [expletive] George W. Bush person.'”

“Kelly neither lurks around the Oval Office nor listens in on as many of the president’s calls, even with foreign leaders. He has not been fully consulted on several recent key personnel decisions. And he has lost the trust and support of some of the staff, as well as angered first lady Melania Trump, who officials said was upset over his sudden dismissal of Johnny McEntee, the president’s 27-year-old personal aide.”

“White House chief of staff John Kelly grew so frustrated on the day Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin was fired that both Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Defense Secretary James Mattis attempted to calm him down.”

Candid observers have noticed that Trump is increasingly perturbed with Kelly’s attempts to shackle him and rein in his worst impulses. According to one source, Trump said that he was “tired of being told no” by Kelly. Consequently, Trump has been leaving Kelly out of the loop on important matters. For instance, Kelly was not around when the President called Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on winning a sham election. Nor was Kelly consulted about the hiring of John Bolton to be his next national security adviser.

The article quotes Bill Clinton’s Chief of Staff, Leon Panetta saying that “There are few things worse than being an impotent chief of staff. When you lose that power you become a virtual White House intern, being told where to go and what to do.” However, in Trump’s mind there are things much worse than that. Like losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, or allowing DREAMers to remain in the only country they know as home, or being exposed as a collaborator with Russian enemies to win an election and then obstructing justice to hide the truth.

But the most heinous atrocity that Trump can experience is the fact, and public awareness, that he is a loser at the things he thinks he excels at (which, of course, is everything). And that may be why he is so maddened by Jeff Bezos. It’s an embarrassment that was perfectly stated by this Washington Post editor to CNN’s Brian Stelter. And it is very likely the root cause of Trump’s derangement:

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

Trump’s Fox News Fetish Could Be Making the Network a Security Risk Exploitable By Russia

The relationship between Donald Trump and Fox News has always been problematic. It represents the closest thing to state-run TV that the United States has ever had. The anchors and reporters on Fox serve as dutiful sycophants to the Trump administration, advancing his self-serving agenda and defending his every fault. While Trump repays Fox by promoting the network and its personalities with free advertisements on his Twitter feed and relentless attacks on their competition.

Fox News Commies

However, there may be more worrisome consequences from this political/media marriage of propagandistic convenience. Aki Peritz, a former CIA counterterrorism analyst, just wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post that raises some frightening possibilities that might result from the parasitic combination of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire and the dimwitted White House. The article, headlined “Foreign spies are watching — and probably targeting — Fox News Channel” delves into some reasonable speculation about how hostile foreign intelligence operations might benefit from monitoring – and possibly compromising – Fox News. What follows are some excerpts that provide a taste of how this problem could become a recipe for disaster:

“[I]f I were a spymaster in the employ of a hostile foreign service, I’d devote some significant effort to penetrating one specific private institution: Fox News Channel.”

“It’s no secret that Fox News — specifically, shows such as ‘Hannity,’ ‘Fox & Friends,’ ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ and ‘Justice with Judge Jeanine’ — have outsize influence on the inner workings of how certain policies are carried out by the U.S. government.”

“[H]ostile foreign intelligence services are probably consuming as much Fox News as President Trump does.”

“Trump’s unfiltered Twitter feed provides world intelligence operatives with ‘a real-time glimpse of a major world leader’s preoccupations, personality quirks and habits of mind’ – traits to be exploited in further dealings on the global stage. And what better way to determine what the president thinks – for the price of basic cable — than to watch selected Fox News programming?”

“A truly aggressive intelligence effort would not just monitor what’s being said on the network. It would target the on-air talent, as well as the folks behind the scenes who make the network’s programming possible: producers, bookers, associate producers, production assistants and the like. This might range from opening friendly contacts with these employees to outright recruitment.”

“Compared to government workers, Fox employees would make easy targets. That’s because they aren’t public officials — they’re news and entertainment people. Also, it’s television — full of trade secrets, big personalities and titanic egos. Most wouldn’t expect to be compromised by a hostile intelligence power, especially on American soil. Few, if any, have the sort of counterintelligence training the U.S. government administers to people in sensitive positions, because Fox employees are not the usual targets for intelligence operations. But the president’s continuing, very specific interest in the channel heightens their risk of being approached by a hostile government.”

Peritz specifically mentions the risk posed by covert operations aimed at Fox News staff. For instance, Sean Hannity is known to speak frequently with Trump. So bugging Hannity’s phone or office “could provide real-time intelligence on the American president and his thoughts.” The same could be true for others at Fox News. Trump’s chumminess with people at Fox has resulted in several of them getting jobs in the administration, including K.T. McFarland, Ben Carson, Sebastian Gorka, and Heather Nauert. Two of Fox’s current prime time lineup, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, were reported to have been candidates for press secretary.

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

The WaPo article is careful not to present this theory as anything more than informed speculation. But given what is known about how Russia conducts its spy operations, it would be prudent for all Fox News employees to be wary, even suspicious, about contacts from friendly strangers. That is, if they aren’t actively seeking out Russians for collusion on behalf of Trump, who is already deeply compromised.