Fox News, Sinclair Broadcasting, etc. a Danger for These Times….

There are absolute facts our judgments & opinions should revolve around.  The first is Trump corrupts all around him, & the other is the echo has dragged the conservative mindset way to the extreme right & is deceiving its audiences.  The shift in the rhetoric at Fox has been subtle enough the past few years, their conservative viewers haven’t accurately perceived they’ve crossed that line from rational over to radical.  Trump’s version of truths has nothing to do with what’s right or wrong.  In his mind, truths only come from those who worship him, while fake news comes from those who oppose him.  Facts & reality to him are irrelevant: president-trump-and-truth-another-difficult-week.  He’s a lifelong con man selling his spiel.  And the echo has played along as his lapdogs.  Fox, Sinclair Broadcasting & so many other far-right nutjobs on radio & the internet are working in cahoots to deceive the GOP base, & they’re convincing enough with their slick propaganda to largely succeed in fooling their audiences.

I wish echo-Trump-world were as concerned about protecting the First Amendment as they are with the Second.  The way they relentlessly criticize the free press, as well as the courts & intelligence agencies, is a direct threat to democracy & plants in their supporters’ minds that somehow these vital institutions are part of some evil deep state.  That narrative is mostly bunk, but their doting base is fully buying into the nonsense.  Controlling the messaging is what Trump seeks, hence the constant attacks on the media.  When we look at actual events following reports from the Washington Post, they are remarkably accurate most of the time, because they abide by journalistic standards & use multiple credible sources (which Fox doesn’t do & are constantly caught in their own lies).  Yes, Trump gets negative press as he does make for an inviting target, but he brings all that on himself.  Just for starters, if he’d stop his incessant lying & quit being a bullying jerk, right there the press coverage about him would become less intensely negative.  There are recent articles describing Trump’s dangerous assault on a free press & nefarious power grab in also compiling a database, exposed in this report trump-slams-washington-post-as-made-up-garbage-as-dhs-looks-to-monitor-journalists with these excerpts:

 But aside from all of the Kelly-drama, Trump’s attacks towards media outlets and newspapers show no signs of coming to a halt anytime soon. And the buried story in all of this is that the president has openly and unapologetically waged war against the free press, while he has defended and praised media coverage that has not challenged his administration. Trump has also repeatedly taken aim particularly at the Post as of late, as well its owner, Amazon chief executive, Jeff Bezos. Trump’s tweets about the Post have coincided with a report from Bloomberg Government, which revealed that the Department of Homeland Security “wants to monitor hundreds of thousands of news sources around the world and compile a database of journalists, editors, foreign correspondents, and bloggers to identify top ‘media influencers.'” The story was met with outrage from members of the media, and a spokesperson for the DHS quickly responded to the reactions and indicated that what the department plans to compile was just “standard practice.” Trump’s hostility towards the media, and specifically towards outlets that have covered his administration in an unflattering light, is certainly alarming and detrimental to a free and open press.

More interesting views from a presidential historian are here: presidential-historian-gil-troy-donald-trump-has-committed-a-crime-against-the-american-people.  Trump wants to rule with an iron fist, taking lessons from some of his best friends on the world stage, be it the leaders of Russia, China, Turkey or the Philippines.  With many other nations falling into fascism & America is saddled with Trump for the time being, so as I keep saying, don’t think it couldn’t happen here: can-it-happen-here-review-trump-republicans-authoritarian-america-fascism.  Here’s another one that should give us pause: holocaust-survivor-america-under-trump-feels-like-1929-berlin.  More excerpts on the tenuous status of our First Amendment rights are found here in new-york-times-editor-dean-baquet-donald-trump:

Donald Trump’s attacks on the press are “out of control” and damaging “the civic life and debate of the country”, the editor of the New York Times said on Sunday. Dean Baquet was responding to a tweet in which the president attacked his main rival. “The Washington Post is far more fiction than fact,” Trump wrote. “Story after story is made up garbage – more like a poorly written novel than good reporting. Always quoting sources (not names), many of which don’t exist. Story on John Kelly isn’t true, just another hit job!” The Post story in question concerned the reportedly waning power of the White House chief of staff, John Kelly, and what the paper called “recurring and escalating clashes [with] the president [that] trace the downward arc of Kelly’s eight months in the White House”. The Post said the story was based on “interviews with 16 administration officials, outside advisers and presidential confidants, many of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity”.

Trump’s antipathy, he said, “hurts the media. I think the president missed the part of high school civics where the first amendment was explained, and where the role of free and independent press was explained. And I think this is debilitating.” The president regularly tweets messages that correspond to content on Fox News, his preferred cable network. Baquet said: “I think the press will keep doing what it does, but … if [Trump] creates a culture where Fox & Friends and Jesse Watters are regarded as serious journalism, and the New York Times and the Washington Post are not, he will have done longstanding, harmful effect on the country.

The beginning of the article why-is-it-so-stressful-to-talk-politics-with-the-other-side is posted here, where it has become more tense debating politics in our divided/polarized country.  That’s why rather than argue with a far-right wingnut whose minds have been polluted by the echo, it’s a lot less stressful to simply refer them to thevoracs.com, letting that site try talking reason & common sense to them:

People disagree all the time, but not all disagreements lead to the same levels of stress. Even though people can be passionate about their favorite sport teams, they can argue about which basketball team is the best without destroying friendships. In the workplace, co-workers can often dispute strategies and approaches without risking a long-term fallout. Political conversations, on the other hand, seem to have become especially challenging in recent years. Stories of tense Thanksgiving dinners and of Facebook friends being unfriended have become commonplace.

Turning to the group of links on Fox fake news, the Reliable Sources monologue provides further proof Trump is governing based on Fox falsehoods.  I invite you to click on this link to hear it cnn-host-trumps-addiction-to-fox-news-leads-to-impulsive-actions & an excerpt from that article is below.  John Kelly has been essentially quarantined while the White House cabinet is being marginalized as they walk through revolving doors, but the real roles of Chief of Staff & cabinet members having the real sway are apparently being taken up by the likes of Fox & Friends, Hannity, Carlson, Dobbs & Judge Jeanine.  No wonder Trump comes off as so clueless:

CNN’s Brian Stelter said on Sunday that President Trump‘s “addiction” to Fox News leads to impulsive actions and other consequences. “The line where Fox News ends and where Trump begins is getting blurrier by the day,” he said on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.” Stelter said there is a lack of quality information reaching the president, so he relies instead on reporters at Fox News. “Sometimes via TV, sometimes on the phone, sometimes in person,” he said. “His addiction to Fox and to other pro-Trump commentators leads to impulsive actions.” Stelter said when Trump relies on what he hears on Fox News, he often ends up catching his staff off guard and forcing them to scramble to “make it look like he knows what he’s doing.”

On that same topic, inside the link the-horror-of-president-trumps-dependence-on-fox-friends, it begins with this horror of reality:

New York Times op-ed columnist Charles M. Blow writes, “In a way, America is being governed by the dimmest of wits on the most unscrupulous of networks. The very thought of it is horror-inducing.” The Erik Wemple Blog offers one key edit: Delete “in a way.” The folks at “Fox & Friends” are very much governing the thoughts and impulses of President Trump. And there’s no hyperbole in invoking “horror” as a means of describing this spectacle. As Matthew Gertz of Media Matters for America has argued in a Politico Magazine piece, the feedback loop between the president and Fox News is “crazier than you think.”

Every time we post part 2, the Related Articles give us several links to alarming details about Fox shamelessly selling out to Trump & the other echo-sources, expressly for the purpose of pleasing & appeasing their audience.  They’re now contorting themselves into pretzels trying to avoid or deflect the Michael Cohen raid, so Fox viewers are sheltered from the real news.  Or Fox often spills over into the insanity zone with unhinged attacks on the DOJ, FBI & Mueller investigation.  Americans need to know the truth, which Trump & the echo keep trying to hide that from us.  Those who follow my regular regimen of links to recent articles, it’s easy to see much of Fox has become pure evil.  They do have some quality shows with respected journalists/commentators, but then they also have their morons, especially early AM & in the evenings.  In the link sean-hannity-is-losing-his-mind-over-jimmy-kimmel, it’s mistakenly based on the premise Hannity has a sane mind to begin with.  Here’s an excerpt about that hideously deranged Fox host picking a spat with Kimmel:

For those existing on this planet—and not whatever one Hannity is on—conflating Kimmel and Weinstein isn’t just egregious, it’s incredibly irresponsible. Weinstein, a disgraced film mogul, has been credibly accused of rape or sexual harassment by up to 100 women; Kimmel, who has a reputation of being one of the nicest guys in Hollywood, has been accused of rape or sexual harassment by zero women. Such behavior is particularly rich coming from Hannity, who repeatedly defended Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore after he was credibly accused of a rash of sexual misconduct; defended Fox News president Bill Shine for allegedly covering up Roger Ailes’ sexual misconduct (Shine was eventually let go from the network); passionately defended Fox News chief Roger Ailes following several sexual-harassment allegations (Ailes was also let go); and hosted Bill O’Reilly on his show after it was revealed that O’Reilly had settled multiple sexual-harassment suits, with Hannity saying to his predatory pal, “I think you should come back [to Fox News].”

 

These excerpts from the-disinformation-tactic-perfected-in-russia-has-spread-across-the-world reveal the same disinformation campaign used by the Russians, Trump & his echo are piggybacking off those same false narratives, including Fox fake news.  Trump’s dictatorial bent is dependent on getting the accolades of state-run media, like Putin enjoys, which is why he props up Fox while attacking real news & real journalists.  It sure works for his loyal base, who always believe the lies while dismissing the truth:

Thanks in part to the investigation of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, we’ve all learned exactly how the Russians’ online tactics work. They use fake websites, fake Facebook pages and fake social media followers to give extra credence to extremist views, whether of the far right or the far left. They invent or manipulate stories — lifting them out of context, changing details, creating fake video — with the aim of provoking fear and deepening social divisions. In Germany, Russian trolls, bots and real-life Russian politicians famously pushed the invented story of “Lisa,” a Russian-German girl supposedly raped by Arab migrants. During the French election, Russian state media, supported by pro-Russian social media, promoted the story that Emmanuel Macron was backed by a “gay lobby” in the United States.

 

Fox News and the Trump-friendly media operate in exactly the same way. As I’ve written in the past, Donald Trump openly used Russian slogans and narratives during his 2016 election campaign. At the moment, though, he doesn’t need to borrow from them anymore. A recent New York Times analysis of how the president came to be obsessed with the “caravan of illegal aliens” listed the ways the original story came to be enhanced and misreported, deliberately, by what we would in another country call pro-regime media. As retold on “Fox & Friends,” or hyped by Frontpage Mag, “Beltway pundit,” and thousands of bots and trolls (both voluntary and professional), the story lost some critical details: that many of the group were refugees from Honduras’s drug wars, or that many planned to stay in Mexico, or that others hope to cross the U.S. border legally to apply for asylum. By the time the tale of the caravan reached the president’s Twitter feed — which has featured faked or mislabeled video in the past, as well — it was an “invasion” requiring the presence of the National Guard.

As for other lying/evil echo-sources, we’ve lately seen how Sinclair Broadcasting not only controls political commentary they force their local TV affiliates to recite, they also unduly control their employees: sinclair-broadcast-anchors-us-labor-contracts.  They could become as dangerous as Fox, since radical commentaries through local news personalities having credibility in their given region & viewers trust, it’s more like a deceptive stealth attack.  The bigger danger in all of this is the way the entire echo coordinates their messaging, so their many lies are given credibility by conservative audiences when they’re coming in unison from multiple sources.  It is so weird & incredibly unfortunate that the most radical far-right opinion makers are the ones dominating echo-media, shaping the current GOP agenda & ideologies.  Read a few of the Sinclair Broadcasting articles below to understand they’re a poison apple.

The next group under other echo-sources riding the crazy train, it includes links describing a raging lunatic like Ted Nugent, like what’s seen in ted-nugent-calls-for-shooting-half-of-our-government.  He’s nuts, but the echo has cultivated a lot of crackpots just like him.  The last group is on evangelicals, as so many of their recognized leaders have aligned with this president.  When you dance with the devil, you’re gonna get burnt.  See this article christian-democracy-authoritarianism-trump as well as this one why-are-millennials-running-from-religion-blame-hypocrisy.

Views from the far-left….
Plenty of good stuff here based on the recent breaking news.  There’s no question at this point Kos provides far more relevant info than Fox fake news….