The possibilities are endless with the indictment of Manafort, et. al. This signals to every person in Trump’s orbit that anything is fair game.
And whom do you suppose in the Trump rogues’ gallery of grifters has evaded taxes, at the very least?
Bannon? The Trump children? Trump himself?
That’s the thing about a special prosecutor. He is ostensibly looking for collusion with the Russians in the election. But if, in his investigation into that area, he runs across something else against the law? Tough luck, pal.
You know Donald Trump has something in his closet. This guy can grab pussies with impunity. Who knows what other rules he thought don’t apply to him?
This is eventually gonna push Orange Dear Leader over the edge. You know it will.
Fox News is going to have to queue up a lot of B-roll for shitty stories on America’s favorite candies and laundry detergents to keep everyone’s mind on something else. Good luck with that.
In most other presidential administrations an indictment of a key player would leave us wondering who else is dirty. With these people you have to wonder who isn’t. The lot of them have the faint whiff of grift about them.
The show begins today. Where it will lead is anyone’s guess.
These are interesting and very dangerous times in which we live. A federal prosecutor just threw down the gauntlet to a mentally unstable president with access to the nuclear football.
The Fox article has an alt-factual feel to it, however, because it’s only true if by “fans” you mean right-wing trolls everywhere and good Christian mothers in red states who voted for our faux religious President who grabs women by their pussies.
A quick Google News search as of this writing, about 1:45 pm Central Time, show that Breitbart and a couple other alt-right news sites are reporting on the controversy — but nobody else. That’s not to say the lapdog entertainment press is not going to run with it eventually, but there doesn’t seem to be a groundswell of organic opposition by Whedon followers on his Twitter feed.
The alt-right sites are whipping their automaton followers into a lather over the daughter and son-in-law angle, as in “How dare this big Hollywood liberal go after Trump’s kids?”
Except Ivanka and Jared Kushner are not just Trump family.
Ivanka is a full-fledged business partner of The Donald and Jared is said to be the Rasputin behind the Trump throne, whispering into Donald’s ear all manner of evil machinations.
So the Voldemort comparison seems fair game to me. As for the Pekingese comment, I’m not sure what that is supposed to mean, but if Ivanka is going to be the doting political daughter repeating her father’s lies, she is also fair game for muckraking that has a storied and honorable history in American politics going back to colonial days.
If you can’t stand the political heat, then don’t help your father (and father-in-law) cook up the evil fascist stew he feeds to his masses.
The results are a predictable train wreck of accusations being traded back and forth and Carlson baiting Eichenwald masterfully. Because, you know, that is what they do on Fox News. Every day. They are quite good at it by now.
I love Eichenwald. He did great work in the election in exposing Donald Trump’s many shady business dealings and the mess that has been Trump’s personal life. He is a good journalist.
Carlson’s career had the faint whiff of respectability when he was on CNN’s Crossfire long ago, which ended badly when John Stewart went on and famously destroyed Carlson and the show he co-hosted. And Carlson’s insipid bow tie. Which Carlson stopped wearing not long after Stewart made fun of him on national TV.
I have not a single doubt that Eichenwald is smarter than Carlson. But if you think you are going to go on Fox News and do the same thing to Carlson that Stewart did to him on CNN, you do not understand the differences between Fox News and CNN. Nor the difference between being a journalist and comedian.
If you do go on Fox News to discuss proper news gathering and writing you probably feel the need to be on TV more than you should. Either that, or someone above Eichenwald ordered to appear with Carlson. I hope it was the latter.
Just in case you were in need of a good laugh today, take a look at this article from the Hollywood Reporter (the first time I have EVER linked to that rag) regarding an ongoing lawsuit by Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner seeking damages for a stuffed hamster which allegedly looks like her.
Or something like that:
Implausible on its face.
That’s the four-word summary of Hasbro’s response to Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner’s lawsuit over a toy hamster.
In September, Faulkner sued Hasbro, contending that a “Harris Faulkner” hamster in the toy company’s “Littlest Pet Shop” product line violated her likeness rights, “caused substantial commercial and emotional damage” and falsely implied her “association with, approval, and endorsement” of the toy rodent.
With the possibility of the situation turning into the biggest hamster scandal since Watergate, Hasbro isn’t offering much cheese.
In a partial motion to dismiss filed in federal court in New Jersey on Monday, the defendant showed the judge side-by-side photos of the fictional hamster toy and real-life adult woman and asked the judge to see that they share nothing in common.
As if that weren’t enough, take a look at this point-by-point rebuttal by Hasbro
First, Ms. Faulkner is an adult, African-American, human, female newscaster; the Hamster Toy is an inch-tall, cartoon-like plastic animal, which has no apparent gender or profession, or even clothing that might identify its gender or profession,” Hasbro responds.
“Second, contrary to Plaintiff’s allegation, the Hamster Toy does not have the same ‘complexion’ as Ms. Faulkner,” continues Hasbro. “The animal depicted by the Hamster Toy has ‘fur’ (not skin), which is golden yellow, a wisp of ‘hair’ that is medium-brown, a pink nose,and a muzzle that is white.”
“Third, despite Plaintiff’s claim, neither the ‘shape’ of the Hamster Toy’s eyes, nor the ‘design of its eye makeup’ misappropriate Ms. Faulkner’s likeness,” Hasbro puts forth. “Ms. Faulkner has brown, almond-shaped eyes; the Hamster Toy has large, circular blue eyes.”
And if that’s not convincing enough, Hasbro’s attorneys told the judge that Faulkner’s Fox News world is “so completely at odds with the Hamster Toy’s imaginary world of Littlest Pet Shop that the court should treat the stark contextual difference as a ‘minus’ factor warranting dismissal.”
Oh, the dog-eat…er…hamster world of news media fame. You have to be agile on your paws feet to keep up with the vermin who would try to usurp your likeness.
Incredibly, one of the new talking points being promulgated by extreme conservatives about Ahmed Mohamed, the little Muslim boy who was arrested for bringing a self-made clock to school, is that he and his parents brought it on themselves for the publicity so they could file a lawsuit.
Another is put forth in the Fox News clip above during an exchange between anchor Megyn Kelly and disgraced former LA police officer Mark Fuhrman, who was exposed as a racist bigot in the wake of the O.J. Simpson trial.
Kelly laughs in his face:
“Mark, I mean, you’ve got to feel bad for the kid. The kid not do anything wrong. But did the cops do anything wrong?” Kelly asked. “Did the school do anything wrong? To a person, everybody who I’ve talked to says the thing looked like a bomb. It looked like a bomb.”
“Well, certainly, Megyn, there’s not very many people — except for the bomb squad — that actually knows what an explosive-timed device looks like. So, they were erring on the side of caution. You’re talking about an English teacher, and you’re talking about police officers that are put in the position that they have to do something,” Fuhrman replied. “Now, I don’t feel sorry for Ahmed, because he offered no explanation to the police. He wouldn’t cooperate. He was passive aggressive by –”
“Passive aggressive?” an incredulous Kelly interrupted as she and guest Richard Fowler burst into laughter.
“By all news reports…” Fuhrman began as Kelly and Rhodes talked over each other while still shaking their heads and laughing.
“I feel like there’s a set up going on here,” Fuhrman continued. “This kid isn’t stupid. So when the police are there, he could have easily explained this. He says ‘call my parents. They know I’ve been building this. I’ve been building it for a long time.’ But he didn’t.”
As both Kelly and Rhodes pointed out, Mohamed did ask to speak with his parents and was rebuffed by police authorities.
This is typical of conservatives in this country. If you don’t like the facts of an issue, just start repeating lies in the hopes that one of them will gain traction.
They do it to everyone; Pope Francis and innocent little Muslim boys. They have no shame.
You might not (or perhaps you do) like most of the Fox News show host line-up because of their outspoken conservative views. But one of them — Todd Starnes — is much worse than all the others:
Although Fox News Channel may be the favorite whipping boy of liberals, the best data indicates that the outlet is neither the most opinionated nor the most biased. But that doesn’t mean that America’s most popular cable news network doesn’t have credibility issues. It does.
If you want to find one of the greatest threats to Fox’s credibility, walk past Sean Hannity’s carefully powdered forehead and Megyn Kelly’s impeccably curled hair, and go deep inside NewsCorps’ Manhattan headquarters. There you’ll find Todd Starnes, a middle-aged man sitting at a difficult-to-find desk who hosts a radio podcast and web-only video show and occasionally pens opinion columns for FoxNews.com. He might appear unassuming, if vaguely familiar, but he is more influential and destructive than even Fox’s network executives may realize.
Fox News has a Todd Starnes problem. And while the network doesn’t seem to be concerned, perhaps it should be. Because Starnes has both a rapidly expanding platform and a long history of journalistic malfeasance.
At Baptist Press, Starnes proved to be both unashamedly conservative and journalistically unreliable. He published articles decrying “the homosexual agenda” in America, warning of “pro-homosexual attitudes” at Baptist colleges, and even bemoaned the “profanity, anti-God lyrics” of the band Nine Inch Nails. But Starnes landed in hot water in April 2003 when he published a profile of then U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige.
I may not agree with much of what Fox News puts out or the way they go about it. But it does seem odd that they would allow such a brooding nut case to inhabit their airwaves and bandwidth.
After all, there is conservative and then there is arch-conservative. And then there is this guy who mostly spouts nonsense which makes all conservatives look like morons when they are not.
Something about this marriage makes me very uncomfortable.
One of the world’s most respected research organizations pairs with a company that is a haven for science kooks and climate deniers?
They say the research arm of National Geographic will remain as a non-profit and is not part of the deal. At least that is good news, although these things have a way of bleeding into one another when the goal are primarily money and entertainment and not science.
The National Geographic magazine, a nonprofit publication since its founding in 1888, will shift to for-profit status under a new partnership with 21st Century Fox, the entertainment company controlled by the family of Rupert Murdoch, the two partners said this morning.
The partnership, which will also include the National Geographic cable channel and the National Geographic Society’s other media assets, will be called National Geographic Partners. Fox will own 73 percent of the partnership, and Washington-based National Geographic Society will own the balance. Fox will pay $725 million to the Society for its stake in the partnership. This will push the Society’s endowment to more than $1 billion.
The monthly magazine, with its famous yellow-bordered cover, has been owned since its inception by the National Geographic Society of Washington, the educational and scientific organization based in Washington that has been a philanthropic organization from its beginning.
The Society will remain a non-profit, separately governed from National Geographic Partners. The partnership will be governed by a board comprised of an equal number of representatives from Fox and National Geographic.
National Geographic first partnered with Fox in launching the National Geographic Channel in 1997. The channel, which is available in 86 million homes in the U.S. and in 171 countries, is the largest and most lucrative asset that the Society owns. It also owns several smaller cable channels in partnership with Fox.
The new partnership will own the channels, the magazine and other National Geographic Society media assets, such as a book and map publishing division, a catalog operation and a travel agency.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure a lot of the stuff offered on National Geographic channels is fine as entertainment.
But they’re not the caliber of show one might expect from National Geographic.
Conservatives have long insisted that channels like NatGeo are proof that the profit motive can produce documentaries and that public funding of PBS is unnecessary.
I think NatGeo proves that public funding for PBS is not only necessary, it’s vital if we want documentary programming that is not a slave to popular tastes that do not run toward the, shall we say, cerebral.
File under: things you never expect to see on Fox News:
A panel of legal experts on Fox News came to the conclusion on Monday that Kim Davis’ attorney, Mat Staver, was “ridiculously stupid” for asserting that the Supreme Court did not have constitutional authority to strike down same-sex marriage bans.
On Monday’s edition of Happening Now, trial attorney Chip Merlin pointed out that anyone who violates a judge’s order should “expect to be thrown in jail.”
“She can still practice her faith,” Fox News host Gregg Jarrett noted.
“Just not on the job in a way that interferes with the legal rights of the citizens she serves. And in fact, the U.S. Supreme Court said so nine years ago.”
“She’s a hypocrite,” criminal defense attorney Sharon Liko agreed. “She’s applying for the job of a martyr. She wants to practice her faith by not issuing marriage licenses. Yet, she will not agree to let the deputy county clerks issue marriage licenses even if it’s okay with their faith.”
That’s it. Game over.
This sort of total diversion from the conventional wisdom bouncing around the right-wing media echo chamber does not happen on Fox News without someone somewhere making a decision to allow it to happen.
I have no special inside information telling me this, but I will guess that cooler heads inside of Fox News realized that, just as the person on their TV program observed, if you open the door up to one person disobeying the law (plus that person’s oath of office) because of their religious beliefs, you will open the entire governmental process up to people who don’t want do something because someplace in the Bible or Torah or Koran tells them not to do it.
And as we all know from experience, there are a lot of things in religious writings that would cause havoc for a great many people in modern society.
Get ready to live like the Amish, everyone.
Think of all the many things that the Bible prohibits that most scholars have agreed do not apply to modern life because they were written so long ago in a different time culturally.
For example, there would be an awful lot of you out there married to your first spouse for the rest of your life if that were allowed to happen because the Bible is clear about divorce.
And if that doesn’t give you chills, nothing else will.
San Francisco Supervisor takes on Fox News to admiration from his supporters in and out of the city:
Scott Wiener, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, knew Fox News was lurking.“They’ve been stalking various members of the board of supervisors for the last week. They went to someone’s home. One of my colleagues said they were following her around in her district last week,” Wiener told ThinkProgress in a phone interview.
Fox News became interested in local San Francisco politicians like Wiener after the murder of Kathryn Steinle by an undocumented immigrant. Fox saw this as an opportunity to point the blame at the Board Of Supervisors for making San Francisco a “sanctuary city” that does not actively seek the deportation of undocumented immigrants. Or, as Wiener put it, Fox News is trying to “take advantage of a horrific crime to bash immigrants.”
When Fox News finally ambushed him in the hallway, Wiener knew what he was going to do. He didn’t want to answer the questions because he knew Fox News was not going to make a good faith effort to cover the issue. He didn’t want to just duck his head and hide, because he knew how that looked on TV. So he addressed Fox News directly: “Fox News is not real news. And you’re not a real reporter.”
While receiving great support from within the city, Fox News has gone after Wiener resulting in his voicemail and email becoming full of hate messages.