Evil-Echo Empire Headed By Fox Fake News….

Under normal circumstances, the likes of Trump could have never gotten elected in the first place.  And even when he did, we’d normally expect our democratic checks & balances to hold up so a president couldn’t run roughshod over our Constitution.  What makes Trump so uniquely dangerous are a combination of his autocratic personality traits, an echo headed by Fox fake news providing cover by serving as his enablers/cheerleaders, with millions in the echo audience actually believing that outrageous rhetoric.  Under a barrage of distortions, exaggerations & lies, Fox continues to bamboozle their low-information viewers under the guise of conservatism, when their messaging is no longer conservative, but has devolved into a bombastic, irrational, nihilistic form of radicalized propaganda.

Getting America back on track desperately requires a better informed GOP base, which is the mission provided by our commentary in The Voracs & the hundreds of links every week seen in the Related Articles from real news sources, where readers can peruse the titles & select topics most interesting to them.  But with a conservative group-think which has been so indoctrinated into tribal distortions, the more rational/realistic/constructive/pragmatic narratives tend to get drowned out in the echo-noise.  I’ve followed this closely for decades, & as a lifelong conservative & GOP supporter, the changes I’ve seen from rational to radical in the party mindset have become abundantly clear.  I just want the GOP to become sane again.  Once Fox fake news copied the scorched-earth rhetoric coming from far-right talk radio & social media groups, conservative thinking became hopelessly deranged.

When you just make stuff up as Fox does, there’s no need for outside sourcing/corroboration, the contents can be sensationalized to make it more entertaining, & the narrative can be shaped anyway they want so it exactly fits a pre-established agenda.  The reason they totally sold out to Trump since 2016 is their audience was preconditioned by extreme-right talk radio & social messaging groups, which evolved into an infatuation with Trump, so the metrics tracked inside Fox headquarters showed their ratings went up with a pro-Trump agenda.  So the network decided to serve the red meat their customers ordered, even when that meat was rotten.  As a propaganda network & not a news network, Fox can shift around based on viewer preferences, not facts.  The whole echo-crowd world now lives inside their alternate reality bubble, where viewpoints are shaped not by truths but their own biases, stubbornly & fanatically clinging to a hardcore ideology completely out of touch with the real world.

The political updates listed in the Related Articles in Part 2 always reveal the unmistakable buffoonery of Fox.  In the links below under the category of Fox fake news, I highly recommend reading this article: fox_news_gas_lighting_america_about_russian_meddling_trump_behalf_calling_for_arrests_of_opponents.  The gaslighting of America coming from numerous Fox analysts, including Carlson, Hannity, Ingraham, Dobbs, Watters, Gutfeld, Pirro, Gorka & Fox & Friends, offering up a menu of authoritarian dialogue bashing opponents in support of a wanna-be despot, is simply over-the-top dangerous.  The network & their commentators have turned into worthy contemporaries like the media personality toadies seen on Russian/Chinese/North Korean TV.  The thing all of us need to know (especially Fox viewers) about those most fanatically-opinionated Fox hosts, is they will regularly either avoid the news, lie about the news, or make up absurd excuses for the prez (which as I’ve said often, Trump corrupts all he touches, with him & Fox having become joined at the hip).

I did watch Fox when O’Reilly & Megyn were their stars in the evening, but I can’t stomach the morons they trot out there now.  Lt. Col. Ralph Peters is absolutely correct when he just called out the current prime-time lineup hosts for scaremongering & wittingly harming our system of government.  As we see in these excerpts from contributor-lt-col-ralph-peters-blasts-fox-news-as-a-propaganda-machine-in-his-parting-email, Peters doesn’t hold back in his criticisms as he resigns from the network, being ashamed of what Fox has become:

There’s a cost to all the ranting that Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson do on Fox News during prime time every night. Of course, their most prominent victims are the truth and reasoned discussion. But for Fox News, there’s a more immediate one: The alienation of folks such as retired Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters. As BuzzFeed reported on Tuesday afternoon, this Fox News contributor is bailing. Peters wrote an email to colleagues that didn’t manage to stay within the confines of the organization:


“In my view, Fox has degenerated from providing a legitimate and much-needed outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration. When prime-time hosts — who have never served our country in any capacity — dismiss facts and empirical reality to launch profoundly dishonest assaults on the FBI, the Justice Department, the courts, the intelligence community (in which I served) and, not least, a model public servant and genuine war hero such as [special counsel Robert S. Mueller III] — all the while scaremongering with lurid warnings of ‘deep-state’ machinations — I cannot be part of the same organization, even at a remove. To me, Fox News is now wittingly harming our system of government for profit.”

(Peters served as a contributor at Fox News for about a decade, opining on issues relating to the military, intelligence, North Korea and beyond.)

The article from Max Boot inside a-conservative-commentator-revolts-against-fox-news is so illustrative, we should encourage people to read the whole thing:

 Ralph Peters is about as far removed from a liberal “snowflake” as you can imagine. A retired Army lieutenant colonel and prolific (and gifted) novelist, he is to the right of right. He has advocated a first strike on North Korea. He has called President Barack Obama the “reincarnation of Pontius Pilate” and was even suspended from Fox News for calling him a “total p———y.” After the Fort Hood shooting, he said that “the problem is Islam,” and suggested in the wake of the Benghazi attacks that if “they kill four of ours, [we] kill 400 of theirs.” So it says a lot that Peters, whom I’ve known for years, has quit his gig as a paid commentator at Fox because he cannot stomach what the network has become. His problem, obviously, is not that Fox is too conservative. It’s that, as he wrote in a scorching letter of resignation leaked to BuzzFeed, “Fox has degenerated from providing a legitimate and much-needed outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration.” (Peters assures me that he wasn’t the source of the leak.)


Peters went on: “Four decades ago, I took an oath as a newly commissioned officer. I swore to ‘support and defend the Constitution,’ and that oath did not expire when I took off my uniform. Today, I feel that Fox News is assaulting our constitutional order and the rule of law, while fostering corrosive and unjustified paranoia among viewers. Over my decade with Fox, I long was proud of the association. Now I am ashamed.” It’s not hard to see why Peters is ashamed. Fox has turned itself into the American version of RT, Vladimir Putin’s propaganda TV. Not only does Fox usually go to great lengths to avoid criticizing President Trump; it also regularly peddles insidious conspiracy theories on his behalf. To try to undermine the “incontrovertible” evidence that the Russians hacked into the Democratic National Committee, for example, Fox hosts pinned the blame on a DNC staffer named Seth Rich, even going so far as to claim that his murder — ascribed by District police to a botched robbery — was the work of the Democrats. Rich’s parents are now suing Fox for the “pain and anguish” inflicted on them. (Fox has retracted the story.)


The Seth Rich hoax is only the tip of the conspiratorial iceberg at Fox, which has also pushed claims that Obama wasn’t born in America, that Obamacare would create “death panels,” that Hillary Clinton sold America’s uranium to Russia and that a “deep state” is plotting against Trump. (Little wonder that, according to a new poll, 74 percent of Americans believe in the existence of a deep state — a concept Trump borrowed from Egypt and Turkey.) Fox has taken the lead in smearing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, a war hero and prosecutor of unimpeachable integrity. The network has called for his investigation of Trump to be terminated. Fox host Jeanine Pirro has even suggested that the FBI and Justice Department should be “cleansed of individuals who should not just be fired but who need to be taken out in handcuffs.”


I got a small taste of Fox’s psychosis in July 2017 when I appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show. Carlson was spitting mad because the previous night Peters had accused him of sounding like “Charles Lindbergh in 1938” for advocating an alliance with Russia. Carlson had ostensibly invited me on to discuss Syria, but he spent most of the interview insulting me. He suggested that “nobody” takes me “seriously” (so why did he invite me on?) and that I should “choose another profession — selling insurance, house painting, something you’re good at.” As I later noted, this was emblematic of Carlson’s lowbrow shtick — “sarcasm, condescension, and mock-incredulous double-takes” — all in service of his Maximum Leader.


What makes Fox’s ravings so scary is that they are not just influencing the public — they are also influencing the president. Matthew Gertz of Media Matters for America found a feedback loop between Trump and the TV personalities he watches so faithfully. Many of the president’s deranged tweets — e.g., his claim that his “nuclear button” is “much bigger & more powerful” than Kim Jong Un’s or that Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin should be imprisoned — are lifted straight from Fox. On Monday, the First Fanboy was in ecstasy because his favorite evening host was on his favorite morning show. He tweeted: “.@seanhannity on @foxandfriends now! Great! 8:18 A.M.” Instead of watching Fox, Trump would be better advised to read his briefing papers — such as the one advising him not to congratulate Putin on his rigged election win. Years ago, before the rise of Trump, I used to think that Fox performed a harmless service by publicizing conservative ideas. It has since become clear that its worldview has little to do with conservatism and everything to do with populism and white nationalism. Fox News’s  creation in 1996 by Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes was one of the most damaging developments in modern American history. The wonder is that there aren’t more commentators like Peters with the integrity to resign in protest over Fox’s propaganda.

Particularly in the case of insanity Sean Hannity, who could otherwise be dismissed for the bumbling fool that he truly is, except he has millions in his audience.  I suppose we could rationalize the bumbling Homer Simpson also has millions who tune in, being entertained by laughing at his buffoonery.  But I doubt that’s the real reason most Hannity fans tune in, as against all logical human comprehension there are people out there who somehow believe him.  So he’s dangerous not only because of his lunatic opinions that are far removed from objective news, but because so many conservatives are buying in.  His bombastic falsehoods & conspiracies, even if he’s doing it unwittingly from being a dope, are a direct threat to American democracy when he constantly spins crazy tales in support of a leader with a bent towards fascism.  Hannity may well be an accomplice to the Russian cover up.  We can only hope as Trump goes down in flames, he’ll also take with him his Fox lackey when Hannity’s insanity has completely blown his credibility with the audience.  Otherwise, Hannity will end up being even more destructive than Trump if his ideological insanity lives on after Trump exits power: sean-hannity-survive-russia.

Being seen on Fox fake news seems to have become a prerequisite for joining this administration.  More signs of this Trump-Fox association comes in this excerpt from trump-does-what-he-wants-because-partisanship-means-that-nothing-ever-changes:

Trump spends a lot of time watching cable news, which means that he spends a lot of time watching Fox News. Fox’s coverage of Trump’s presidency has often been sympathetic, to put it gently. One can look to its coverage of Jared Kushner or Stormy Daniels — or one can take it from a former guest who quit in public fashion after blasting the network as “a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration.” So when Trump is gauging the public mood by watching Fox News, the evaluation he gets is a positive one. Fox News’s Tucker Carlson once said that Trump had told him that he sees TV as more important than polls.

This false universe Fox & the echo have cultivated has metastasized into a truly scary situation for America.  These excerpts come from trump-voters-are-selfish-they-love-him-because-they-identify-with-him:

These findings complement what is already known about Donald Trump’s voters, a group comprising tens of millions of white Americans who have joined what is effectively a political death cult, and apparently will not abandon their Great Leader under any circumstances.

Trump’s Republican and conservative supporters share the following attributes:

1. They are more likely to be authoritarians and to embrace other extreme right-wing ideologies.

2. They are racially resentful and hostile to nonwhites. This attitude is especially pronounced towards African-Americans.

3. They exhibit forms of toxic behavior associated with “collective narcissism.”

4. They believe that white people are the real victims of racism in America.

5. They are political bullies who engage in social dominance behavior against individuals and groups they view as Other (nonwhites and immigrants, Muslims, gays and lesbians) or their political enemies (liberals and progressives).

6. They hold sexist and misogynistic views.

7. Trump’s most extreme and enthusiastic supporters in the “alt-right” feature the “dark triad” of personality traits: narcissism, a propensity for violence, and a Machiavellian longing to manipulate others.

8. They have little regard for America’s democratic norms and institutions and believe that winning at costs is all that matters — even if that means siding with a foreign power such as Russia to elect Donald Trump

9. They live in regions of the United States where people are more likely to be unhappy, miserable and physically unwell and to suffer from the “deaths of despair.”

10. They are attracted to Trump’s threats of violence and his other antisocial behavior.

11. They are anti-intellectual, disdainful of higher education and hostile towards experts.

12. They possess a deep fear of death and social obsolescence which compels them towards “strong leaders,” guns, superficial expressionss of patriotism and Christian fundamentalism

13. They are extremely gullible and thus vulnerable to disinformation and other lies, as disseminated through the right-wing media.

14. They seek simple answers to complex problems and are quick to reject new and inconvenient information.

15. Either directly or indirectly, they want to hurt others whom they consider “un-American” or outside their tribe and community

As we continue to try to make sense of the 2016 presidential election and its aftermath, it is important to keep in mind several other factors.

Trump’s voters are not nihilists. They know what they want, and believe that Donald Trump and the Republican Party are fulfilling their desires.

Trump’s voters are conservatives on political steroids. They are the leading edge of a Republican Party and broader conservative movement that since the late 1960s has become increasingly extreme, reactionary, racist and hostile to democracy. 

There is nothing “normal” about Trump’s political movement or his voters. This moment is a perilous outlier in modern American history. The country’s democracy and future are in peril. In total, Trump’s voters are in a political, symbolic and emotionally transactional relationship with him and the Republican Party. Ultimately, Trump is likely to be re-elected in 2020 if his movement is treated as an aberration and his supporters are understood as “innocents” who were somehow tricked into supporting him.

Donald Trump has agency. His voters have agency. Together they have chosen a path that may bring lasting ruin to American society.

Inside theworldpost/wp/2018/03/23/direct-democracy starts off with this:

The rise of populism in the West, the rise of China in the East and the spread of peer-driven social media everywhere are prompting a deep rethinking of how democracy works — or doesn’t. The election of Donald Trump realized the worst fears of the American Founding Fathers that democracy would empower reckless demagogues. Contrary to post-Cold War assumptions in the West, China has shown the path to prosperity is not incompatible with one-party authoritarian rule. Despite expectations that the Internet age would create an informed public more capable of self-government than ever before in history, fake news, hate speech and alternative facts have seriously degraded the civic discourse.


If contemporary democracies are going to compete with autocratic systems on the world stage while avoiding their own suicide through polarization and paralysis fueled by untrustworthy information, they need a radical renovation that responds to the forces undermining them. Above all, such a renovation must engage the participatory power of social media and the increasing preference of publics for direct democracy by designing new, impartial institutions and practices that interpose a deliberative check against the false claims, misinformation, intolerance and magical thinking that come along with the immediate wash of networked popular sentiment.

 Views from the far-left….
The echo-crowd don’t give the Kos much credence, but these opinion pieces may ultimately prove way ahead of the mainstream media, while being far more accurate than the rightwing echo.  Check out their link titles….