Fox ‘News’ Nothing More Than Extension of Right-Wing Republican Party

Apart from Fox ‘News’ not really being a news network with actual journalistic standards or that a large segment of the aging white men of the nation turn into the network as it confirms their biases about our diversifying society, comes the latest evidence that demonstrates the network is nothing more than a political arm of the Republican Party. The right-wing of the once GOP.

I know my readers are shocked. “I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here.”

But apart from the obvious understanding that FOX is nothing more than a partisan operation comes the additional weight as to how the most illogical, and way outside the ballpark thinking from some of the hosts on that network, had access to the most important officeholder in the world.

Stephanie Grisham, former press secretary to Donald Trump, remembers the challenges that came from so many Fox News hosts having the direct number to reach Trump in the White House residence.

“There were times the president would come down the next morning and say, ‘Well, Sean thinks we should do this,’ or, ‘Judge Jeanine thinks we should do this,’ ” said Grisham, referring to Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro, both of whom host prime-time Fox News shows.

Grisham said West Wing staffers would simply roll their eyes in frustration as they scrambled to respond to the influence of the network’s hosts, who weighed in on everything from personnel to messaging strategy.

Can you imagine Dwight Eisenhower or Harry Truman taking such calls or allowing truly deranged personalities to think, even for the length of a phone conversation, that they had any input or pull within the power structure of the White House?

I admit to being ‘old-school’ about the standards reporters and news operations should employ. And I have been over the many years a critic of the citizenry when it comes to their news consumption capabilities. We know that the Founders desired a nation of educated and informed citizens, knowing such a base was essential for the very survival of a democracy.

History shows that around 90% of whites in colonial America were literate by the early 18th century. We also know there was a bevy of newspapers and pamphlets that were not only published but widely read.

Consider the following and frame it within the context of white men now slumped back into the sofa watching a continuous conservative loop of misinformation on Fox News. When they might have last read a book goes back to the year they graduated from high school.

In 1791, Madison remarked that Congress had an obligation to improve the “circulation of newspapers through the entire body of the people”. He helped champion the Post Office Act of 1792. The act included a provision for the delivery of newspapers by the Post Office at extremely low rates for delivery of newspapers. For the century following the passage of the Post Office Act, newspapers often accounted for more than 95% of the weight of mail transported by the post office, but never made up for more than 15% of the revenue. The result of this large indirect subsidy of the fledgling industry was enormous. In 1790, before the passage of the act there was less than one newspaper produced for every 5 citizens. By 1840 there were almost three papers printed per person.

Too many Americans in the 21st century gave up reading a newspaper and slipped further into intellectual decay by believing Fox is a newsgathering operation. It is not. Real reporters and journalists have been replaced by echo chambers of far-right lingo that further prove Fox is not in any way a legitimate news-gathering and reporting operation. The only purpose of the network over the past six years is to play to the absurdities of the Donald Trump base.

News reports over the past few weeks show the tight bonds and familiarity between Fox News hosts and the Trump White House. The fact that Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham were even texting White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows while violent and vile insurrectionists were storming our national Capitol underscores the ease and accessible nature of such communications between Fox and the White House. That line of reporting adds further gravity to the news coverage of how much influence Fox had, and used.

And so it goes.

Politics Needlessly Ugly, Anti-Gay Statement Proves Point

There is every reason to have robust discussions about paying for broadband access, how to green our nation’s energy supplies, and what might be the best path forward when dealing with a rejuvenated Taliban. There are, and should be energized views and forceful presentations of those opinions.

That frothy nature of our dialogue has been the standard since we threw off King George III. And it is a healthy part of our republic.

But it is the most ridiculous and purposefully divisive rhetoric, far from the issues, that we too often hear that causes for the further polarizing of the nation.

Such was the case recently when Fox News’s Tucker Carlson mocked Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for doing exactly what millions of other Americans do every year. The very same program that citizens desire and elected officials recognize as most prudent Carlson openly mocked.

Paternity leave.

Carlson who usually plays on the shallow end of the swimming pool could not contain himself over the idea that two male married parents were raising adopted children. He quipped that Pete and his husband, Chasten Buttigieg, were “trying to figure out how to breastfeed.”

That surely made for guffaws around the nation for the low-brow who make a habit of watching such dribble on television. The anti-gay backslap was not lost on the ones who first read about it in news accounts.

The great social swing in this nation on a host of issues from racial accountability, gay marriage, transgender issues, women’s rights, and caring for refugees has left a swath of mostly rural caucasian Americans wondering what happened to their Archie Bunker world. No more smoking in a diner, slapping a waitress on the backside, and using racial slurs as a punchline.

This nation has made some fine and needed steps to structure much of the nation from our neighborhoods to the floors of the United States Senate to reflect our more rational side as a society. So, why then, do some national commentators and an entire ‘news’ network seem unaware that we are well into the 21st century?

I do not think there is a legitimate argument against paternity leave. The bonding between the child(ren) and parents has been proven to be most important in the early weeks of life. But even if someone wanted to play to the far side of the field on the issue why make an anti-gay slam as Carlson did?

What troubles Carlson, and others like him, is the normalcy that comes with gay marriage, gay parents raising children, and the seamless blending that has occurred in communities nationwide. All the wild-eyed lingo from the right-wing about gay rights folded like a wet house of cards.

But people like Tucker Carlson hold onto their prejudices like a raccoon to a late-night find in a garbage can. When they take those views public, however, and feed the base with them it continues to stunt the needed growth among that segment of the nation who keep falling farther behind the majority.

And so it goes.

Anti-Vaxxer Vexations

I am truly tired of hearing the ‘woes’ and “hardships’ of those in the nation who complain about being subjected to vaccine and mask mandates. I have had my fill of hearing the ‘put upon’ who disdain science throwing public fits at restaurants and school board meetings.

While I much enjoy making election prognostications as balloting nears, I could never have predicted the complete breakdown in common-sense and reasoning as we have witnessed this year regarding COVID-19 vaccines.

I am not alone in being frustrated by the anti-vaxxers who have cheated the nation out of truly enjoying this summer, undermining the economy, and continuing the stress and fatigue of emergency room doctors and nurses.

This morning WGN radio news reported how deeply held the angst is over those who simply deny facts, and work to further the pandemic.

A new survey, commissioned by CoinStar, finds one in eight Americans plan on skipping holiday shopping for family and friends who do not share the same COVID-19 opinions as them.

These types of polls are not new.

A survey of 1,000 Americans – conducted by OnePoll on Sept. 2 – examined why people have ended friendships in the last year and a half. Results show 16 percent of respondents have axed three pals from their lives since the pandemic began in March 2020.

It does not take this blogger to state the obvious. There is just no reasoning with those blinded to the wisdom of the vaccine. There is no convincing anyone who has made their decision based on partisanship–and I have no way to wrap my mind around making a medical decision based on party politics. There is no way to move one towards reasoning when they are wedded to an odd and outlandish set of conspiracy theories.

Many of us over the past months of sunshine and warm breezes have expanded our activities from what took place in 2020. We visited others who were vaccinated, had cookouts, and relished seeing loved ones and friends not seen in person for over a year.

But in the same breath for many of us, this home included, we did not sit in a restaurant, attend movies, or congregate in anything that remotely resembled a crowd. For all those who follow medical professionals we have not spent much money in the local economy. That too, is something business owners can thank the anti-vaxxers for continuing.

Every reader to this little place on the internet highway fully knows the simple truth. The chaos, sickness, death, and economic cramping could have been avoided if all Americans eligible for the vaccine had simply acted with regard for their families and communities. Rather than allowing for logic and professionals to guide their actions the anti-vaxxers decided despicable politicians and angry talk show hosts on FAUX News should steer them.

Why follow scientists when there are so many lies and conspiracies to swallow?

I line up with all those others in the nation who are angry with the irresponsible ones who reject the fact that no one can dispute.

The vaccines are the best tool to fight the virus.

And so it goes.

Friday Night Smile: Lou ‘Haircolorist’ Dobbs Jettisoned As Lawsuit Strikes Fox ‘News’

It was the warm ray of sunshine that landed at the end of a terribly cold day.

Fox News Media sent out a notice that Lou Dobbs will no longer be fomenting nonsense on their network. Fret not my readers, as there are still many others on Fox that bury facts and conjure up conspiracy theories, so the easily swayed in the nation still have some programming just for them. But as for Dobbs, who has had more hair coloring over the years than any other guy on national television, he has been benched.

The reason for his release is, of course, though FOX is loathe to openly state it, due to a billion-dollar lawsuit over false claims about the integrity of the 2020 election. And front and center to the conspiracy programing is hair-tinted Dobbs.

That little ole $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit has forced one of the slimiest agitators off the network. Who can forget this piece of human trash promoting the lies that President Obama was not born an American citizen? Or rejected the scientific consensus on climate change. Or found problems with Black men, brown-skinned workers, and Muslims.

Dobbs was not just your ordinary pusher of false information…he was the business network’s highest-rated host. Smartmatic, a voting software company that was the subject of several false claims made on Fox News and Fox Business now has the network by the teeth;, akin to a nature program where a lion has the gazelle by the throat, while shaking and ripping into the tender regions of the network. The lawsuit named Mr. Haircolorist Dobbs as an individual defendant, along with two other Fox anchors, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro.

Trust me when saying there will be wine cork popping at our home when Pirro finds the door hitting her on the way out, too. When it comes to dreadful, she is the epitome of the word. But when it comes to Fox there are just so many who fit the definition. Where does one start?

For now, all we can say to Dobbs is what we have wanted to say for many, many years.

Example Why Fox News Viewers Are Uninformed

The heading to this post could be a nightly affair on Caffeinated Politics, but the issue as it relates to Fox News and their viewers tonight is of such weight that it deserves attention.

Tuesday night Donald Trump fired his administration’s most senior cybersecurity official responsible for securing the presidential election. It should come as no surprise that what caused Christopher Krebs to be treated so shabbily is that he had the audacity to stand up to the Orange Autocrat and openly dispute the false claims that the election was in any way stolen as a result of fraudulent ballots or software glitches. For telling the truth to the nation Krebs was fired.

The firing stirred an immediate and most appropriate backlash in the national security community and on Capitol Hill. And among those who follow matters of this type on social media.

Actual news organizations, not only in the United States but also around the globe, reported the news and explained its ramifications. The only operation that gave the news short shrift was Fox News.

As noted tonight by CNN’s Brian Stelter who reports on media events, “I searched the rush transcripts and they returned zero results between 8pm-11pm”

This leads to yet another prime example of what is not only wrong with Fox News but also why there is a large number of Americans who cannot even start to have any factual or logical conversation about the news of the day. Those viewers start their day with truly odd morning hosts at FOX, and then perch themselves on the couch to close out the day with equally absurd evening hosts spouting the most baseless dribble.

What Fox News has never been able to understand is that facts are wonderful slices of information to impart and learn. Facts are not liberal nor conservative–they are just plain facts. And if they are presented to the viewing audience the nation will be smarter. Putting forth false and misleading (pick your own word ) on that network, or as in the case of the Krebs story not reporting it during prime time, is a great disservice to the public. You know–the public–the ones who own the airwaves!

Having said that we must not let the viewers off the hook. What type of person saddles up to Fox News waiting to be fed false narratives, and misleading material hour after hour, night after night, week after week…? There is truly a segment of the nation who cares not a whit about educated, informed, and fact-based reporting. They make up the Fox News audience.

Somewhere our educational system needs to be called to accountability for unloading so many of them on the nation’s doorstep.

And so it goes.

Why Do Conservatives Attack Military War Veterans Like Senator Tammy Duckworth, Senator Maxwell Cleland

Not being aware of how callous the American public had become, I was sure that when Donald Trump maligned Senator John McCain, a former POW, that his presidential campaign would fade away.  One of the ‘do not ever cross’ lines had been crossed and then doubled down on by Trump.

Much of the public did not care.  In retrospect, I should have learned from that disappointing moment when the shallow end of the pool became deeper.  But I am an optimist and think we will do better. Even now when our nation has allowed itself to be shoved towards illiberal democracy I still have faith that we can correct the mess voters created in 2016.

But as I watch the political news I am aware of our nation again being confronted with conservatives attacking a member of the military–and again against one who gave more than she ever could have known would befall her.  Democratic Illinois Senator Duckworth is getting hit over and over on Fox News, mainly from Tucker Carlson.

I have often written on this blog that America is not so much land from this point to that point on a map, but rather an idea.  We are based on ideals.  What made this place most unique from the start, and still so starkly different today from many other nations, is the ability of anyone to dissent and differ with powerful words and spirited debate.

When that is done, especially from a person who had both legs blown off in an explosion in Baghdad, there is reason to give some license for the words offered.  That is just the decency factor that is built into coming back to our nation with fewer limbs than one had when leaving to serve in our military.   When we can not allow for that trade-off to be heard and respected than we have lost something about that idea of America.

Perhaps the shallow end of the pool is getting deeper, again.

Let it not be forgotten that Republicans and conservatives have been attacking military veterans for a long time. Recall Maxwell Cleland, a Democratic politician from the state of Georgia, a disabled Army veteran of the Vietnam War, a recipient of the Silver Star and the Bronze Star for valorous actions in combat?  He was slammed around by Republicans in some of the most vile political attacks I had seen used against a member of the military.  One would have thought he was nothing more than a traitor if only the campaign ads from his opponents were known about.  But what we must not forget—ever–is that due to the severity of his wounds, doctors amputated both of Cleland’s legs above the knee and his right forearm. He was 25 years old.

But that did not stop conservatives from kicking him again and again while maligning him.

“I’d never seen anything like that ad,” McCain said at the time of the spot, which was widely condemned by Democrats. Putting pictures of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden next to the picture of a man who left three limbs on the battlefield is “worse than disgraceful,” said McCain. “It’s reprehensible.”

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Now conservatives are kicking Duckworth–another soldier who gave more than any FOX News commentator ever will.  It is disgusting what that network allows on the air–in the guise of news and commentary.  Surely even the average FOX News viewer must have some moral fiber that allows them to find Carlson’s attempt at increasing his ratings unacceptable.

I have hope that advertisers will help flush the Fox system.  But then I had hoped the public was not so devoid of patriotism when McCain was attacked.  I have come to learn that even with optimism there are always some conservatives who continuously play their dark diseased deeds.

And so it goes.

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Why Does Donald Trump, Angry White Males, Want More COVID-19 Obituaries?

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The Know-Nothing Party was known for its strong anti-immigrant foundation.  It can be easily established that its roots were embedded in ignorance.  With that same level of deficiency of cerebral power, the modern-day members of such an alliance are stoking the emotions of our society which is dealing with a pandemic.  The voices of angry white males today are demanding that labor return to open up the economy,  even though the needed safeguards, such as mass testing for COVID-19, are not available.  The ones doing the shouting are not the ones who will benefit from such a fast opening of the economic valve.  Instead, they are the convenient dunces who do not know they are being played, so the fat cats on Wall Street and big bankers can score a larger victory.

By now we are all too aware of the bizarre interview that  “Dr. Phil” gave on Fox News. It was alarming to watch how much quackery could be unloaded by one person in just a matter of minutes.  When he compared deaths from COVID-19 to those killed in car accidents and drownings in swimming pools (numbers which were blatantly incorrect) it was apparent that he had become untethered to reality.  I certainly do not watch FOX News, but the interview has been reported by all news operations, and it is highly concerning how he would fluff off a deadly global pandemic.  Or how the network did not push back……but then we know Fox News is not a source for news or facts.

Not to be outdone for absolute lack of moral foundations were the words from Dr. Mehmet Oz.  Also airing on FOX News—are you noticing a trend here?  He said the idea of reopening schools was “an appetizing opportunity” in light of an article in a medical journal “arguing that the opening of schools may only cost us 2 to 3 percent in terms of total mortality.”

So if a classroom has 22 kids which parents will be the ones with an empty bedroom?

Today it is clear, based on Donald Trump’s own words, that he is openly fomenting right-wing protests of social distancing restrictions.  He is targeting states where groups of his conservative supporters have been violating stay-at-home orders.  Is it any wonder that the vast majority of the nation looks at these cretins and terms them deplorable?

James and I have been self-distancing for seven weeks, have had no other people in our home, have only been to a grocery store twice, and the last time had a personal in-store shopper place items in the car trunk.  We are not bored, and only wish the days were longer.  But then again we read books.

We are mindful of the science and data reported from the experts, and also the professionals in our city, county, and state who work with emergency affairs.  We grasp the fact that it is our duty to assist the greater good, and act in concert with the sensible majority, in bending the curve downwards of cases in our state.

The complete idiots with their white male outrage and also a hefty amount of illogic, misinformation, and just plain stupidity must be held accountable.  They can tote their guns but the national resolve to fight this virus must not relent to their ignorance and buffoonery. 

What these goof-balls with their outrage do not grasp is that they are being played.  They have nothing more invested then what they bought for a lunchpail.  Or in a deadly weapon.  Yet Trump and a certain element within the conservative base are using them as if they are about to make the stock market plays of the week.   Look at the protestors and ask yourself if they are not just a bunch of malcontents without a library card?

We do not have all the facts about the virus. We don’t have the tests in place to determine who has the virus and who is asymptomatic and carrying the virus to others. The shouters and protesters were not the valedictorians so they have no awareness of any of this, so they simply mimic Trump.  But Trump gins up the Know-Nothings only for the purpose to pump up the Dow Jones and whatever remains of his feeble attempt to not be destroyed in the November election.

And in so doing Trump and his ilk, if they get their way, will increase the numbers of names on the obituary pages who will die from COVID-19. Some of those names succumbing to the virus will surely be the ones now acting like the dolts their neighbors have always known them to be.  Just like the pastors not smart enough to know shutting down the offering plates would have been a smarter choice for their churches.

Again, it is imperative that the majority of this nation stay firm to the data, facts, and professionals and not relent in our duty to our fellow citizens as we work to combat the virus.

Trump’s Lack Of Leadership Over Coronavirus

It is quite disconcerting to see the level of partisanship which is taking hold of a most serious medical condition inflicting the entire world. While those in the United States who watch Fox News seem to have a disregard for science and for the needed collection of data so to more adequately fight the coronavirus, there is now data to underscore the split between those who believe in science and those who believe in the wild conspiracy theories advanced by conservative media.

The lack of leadership from the Trump White House, to the purposeful dissemination of misleading and outright lies from Trump about the virus, promotes a partisanship that need not, and should not exist in the United States at this time.  It is just one more clear indicator of how far adrift our nation is from the norms that once anchored and unified us.  When facts are vilified, the lowest educated in our land spew rhetoric about “fake news”, and knowing this mindset was created by Trump over the years so to undermine trust in government and our institutions, we then have no need to ask why, in part, the markets are tanking. 

Today I read an Economist/YouGov poll on the coronavirus issue.

Among Republicans: 60% say US is overreacting, 80% say Trump’s policy is appropriate, 66% say they’re not worried, 16% say it’s a definitely or probably a “hoax.”

Among Democrats: The numbers are 32%, 9%, 40%, 4%.

It should be noted, with no surprise, that the medical and scientific community align with the more sobering conclusions about the pandemic than the Trump White House, Fox News, and the undereducated Trump base.

The one exception to the nonsense from the conservative side, which stunned me, came from none-other than Tucker Carlson.  I agree completely with this statement.

While some of his colleagues have downplayed coronavirus fears, Tucker Carlson over the last few weeks has taken a much different approach. And that approach was on full display Monday night when Carlson seemed to call out both President Donald Trump and some of his colleagues on Fox News — without naming them specifically — for dismissing what he told viewers is a “very serious problem.”“People you trust, people you probably voted for, have spent weeks minimizing what is clearly a very serious problem,” Carlson said. “‘It’s just partisan politics,’ they say. ‘Calm down. In the end this was just like the flu and people die from that every year. Coronavirus will pass.”

Carlson said people who make such arguments may have good intentions, but they’re wrong. “They may not know any better,” Carlson said. “Maybe they’re just not paying attention, or maybe they believe they’re serving some higher cause by shading reality. … And there’s an election coming up. Best not to say anything that might help the other side. We get it. But they’re wrong” Carlson called it a “major event,” stressing, “It’s definitely not just the flu.”

We all have seen a lot over the last four years but perhaps nothing is more telling and dangerous than what is playing out now with the health and well-being of the nation’s citizenry.  The Trump White House is allowing for the coronavirus to spread due to their lack of focused messaging, manipulating test kit distribution, and undermining funding for the agencies designed to study and inform the public about national health concerns.    In so doing it is shining a most glaring light on the darker motives and more sinister partisanship that lurks within this White House.