In post-Trump America the Fox News–GOP machine is becoming even tighter and more conjoined. Several former Trump officials, including former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, are now front and center at the conservative cable channel whose CEO admitted last month it is on a mission – not to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting – but to be the “loyal opposition” to the Biden presidency.
That is on full display almost daily, when Fox White House correspondent Peter Doocy speaks.
Doocy on Tuesday tried to advance GOP talking points in the press briefing room but White House press secretary Jen Psaki was not having it.
PETER DOOCY: Is the WH concerned MLB is moving their All Star Game to Colorado, where voting rules are very similar to Georgia?
PSAKI: Let me refute that. CO has same-day registration, universal mail voting… it’s important to remember the context. The GA bill is built on a lie pic.twitter.com/TaDLU0mYNP
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 6, 2021
As Vox’s Aaron Rupar notes, Fox News really didn’t care what Psaki’s answer was – or the actual facts were – they wanted a GOP talking points chyron:
Jen Psaki just debunked this chyron but Fox News is running with it anyway pic.twitter.com/iXuEp7Jyu5
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 6, 2021
Just hours later Doocy was doing the GOP’s bidding once again.
At the end of President Joe Biden’s announcement that by April 19 every adult in America will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine Doocy was the only reporter to shout out a question (a regular tactic Doocy employs,) which President Biden generously answered despite the event having ended and he was already walking away:
Here’s Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy framing a question to President Biden in a way that blames every American COVID death on China. pic.twitter.com/nNKmNGOoyo
— The Recount (@therecount) April 6, 2021
(To be clear, studies and Trump’s own Dr. Deborah Birx say 400,000 COVID deaths were avoidable.)
It took the GOP no time to sweep that ready-made soundbite up and blast it out, almost as if it had be pre-scripted (RNC Research is an official RNC account):
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) April 6, 2021
Fox News minutes later blasted out this alert from its mobile app:
On social media many Americans expressed anger and frustration:
Trump literally stood on a stage with Putin and took his side over the Intelligence Community. So sit down and be quiet. https://t.co/6cE4GunfzV
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) April 6, 2021
Perhaps the better question is have you had an opportunity to talk to the Former Guy to find out why he lied to the American public about the COVID-19 virus that killed 544,000 Americans.
— Colleen Neel (@colleenneel) April 6, 2021
How does that guy still have a press badge?
— greg (@gregf1971) April 6, 2021
“It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control”
—Donald J. Trump (Jan 22,2020)
— FreedomExpressed 🌊🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@iPicNews) April 6, 2021
Doocy and Fox will never stop trying to misinform their viewers. https://t.co/sg8M1mhulk
— AJM🌊 (@ajm510) April 6, 2021
That was breathtaking—no blame for their god-emperor ever https://t.co/aDPzlRTVAK
— Snackus Maximus 🥟 (@rosicrucian1970) April 6, 2021
Trump thanked Xi for his efforts on COVID 19
— Tony Stella (@stellacle) April 6, 2021
— JustSusan ⭐️ (@TassajaraRd) April 6, 2021
This your boy? pic.twitter.com/nbq124oyOZ
— George “WEAR A MASK & WASH YOUR HANDS” Scriban (@scriban2) April 6, 2021
Trump hasn’t apologized for saying China had it all under control.
— Just me (@reluctantzealot) April 6, 2021
I’ve been voting in CO for decades. Doocy works for a dangerous propaganda network dedicated to spreading lies to undercut our democracy. Stop treating them like a news org and stop calling on them.
— The GOP lies and liars lead to insurrection (@we_are_toast) April 6, 2021
Proving Peter Doocy is as dumb as his Dad and that Fox News will parrot any idiotic talking point from the GOP regardless of its truth. Also Psaki is prepared as fuck.
— Paul (@paul_bryant) April 6, 2021
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COVID Disinformation Purveyor Sen. Ron Johnson Urges FDA to Not Grant Full Approval to Coronavirus Vaccine
Senator Ron Johnson has written a letter to the FDA criticizing the Biden Administration for “rushing the approval process” for political reasons, reports the conservative Washington Times.
Johnson has repeatedly earned his “Ron Anon” nickname throughout the pandemic as an opponent of vaccines (while denying he’s an anti-vaxxer) and other COVID-19 mitigation efforts. The most recent spike in cases and deaths caused by the Delta variant haven’t slowed his roll.
The Washington Times reported on the contents of his letter, which it said it had obtained exclusively:
“The Wisconsin Republican warned against the Food and Drug Administration’s pending approval of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, which is expected Monday.
“He said the fast-track decision appeared more political than scientific since it skipped the usual formal advisory committee meeting and did not fully account for the reports of deaths and disabilities suffered by people after being vaccinated.
“‘I see no need to rush the FDA approval process for any of the three COVID-19 vaccines. Expediting the process appears to only serve the political purpose of imposing and enforcing vaccine mandates.'”
In the letter, Johnson also charged that “over the last year and a half, the decisions of federal health agencies have dramatically affected the lives of all Americans. The impact of these decisions has been felt in Americans’ treatment options, employment, schools, housing and travel, and in countless other ways. The human toll of the social restrictions and economic devastation is incalculable.”
The Washington Times did report this from the Biden administration:
“U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy told “Fox News Sunday” that moving the Pfizer vaccine from “emergency” to “full approval” would make mandates more appealing.” There are universities and businesses that have been considering putting in vaccine requirements in order to create a safer, a workplace, a learning environment,” he said. “I think this announcement from the FDA would likely encourage them and make them feel more comfortable in putting some requirements in place.”
Johnson’s stature as a de facto spokesperson for the virus has long been documented. Last month, Washington Post fact checkers gave Johnson four Pinocchios for his campaign of vaccine misinformation. It quoted this bizarre claim from Johnson in a July 14 interview on Fox News’ “Hannity.”
“The fact of the matter is it looks like natural immunity is as strong if not stronger than vaccinated immunity. … There is a risk to the vaccine. Again, it’s very small, but there are some pretty serious side effects, including death. We are already over 5,200 deaths reported on the VAERS system. That’s a CDC, FDA’s early warning system.”
“Johnson has emerged as the leading vaccine skeptic in Congress this year,” the Post reported. “For months, the senator has been peddling misinformation about coronavirus vaccines, undeterred by fact checkers, federal health agencies, medical experts and a growing body of scientific research. We previously dug into two Johnson claims that resurfaced in this interview on Fox News, a network whose right-wing personalities consistently bash the Biden administration’s vaccination efforts.”
A month earlier, in June, there was this from CNN: “YouTube suspended Johnson’s account after it posted a video of the senator making dubious claims about treatments for the coronavirus. In the video, Johnson voiced support for using hydroxychloroquine against the virus, the same drug Donald Trump enthusiastically endorsed and used as a preventative treatment for coronavirus last year.”
It has all been part of a pandemic-long quest for Johnson to stoke support from the Trump base. Among his most notable strange moments, Johnson brought forth a parade of dubious doctors at a December Senate hearing on the pandemic for the purpose of “elevating fringe theories,” in the polite words of the New York Times. Johnson was so repulsive that he even bridged the partisan divide on the subject. Here’s more from newspaper:
“Mr. Johnson’s inflammatory public statements and his decision to give a platform to an assortment of contrarian doctors promoting alternative treatments have also irked some fellow Republicans, who have privately groused that he is acting irresponsibly.”
‘#TrumpIsALaughingStock’ Trends as Americans Mock Right Wingers’ Belief Today Would Be #TrumpReinstatement Day
According to the QAnon crowd, the far right fanatics, the MyPillow cultists, and MAGA maniacs, August 13 is the day Donald Trump would be “reinstated” as president. And while the day is not over yet, there is exactly zero chance “the former guy” is going to be back in the White House any time soon.
Americans will not see a shadow “cabinet” or anyone else declaring “martial law” and bringing Donald Trump back into power. There will be no Supreme Court decision kicking President Joe Biden to the curb. And Democrats will not be rounded up as “traitors” and jailed – or worse.
Instead, many Americans will have – and already are having – a field day reveling in mocking the insanity that has come to represent the Republican Party, as #TrumpIsALaughingStock, #TrumpReinstatement, and other amusing hashtags trend on social media.
Trump’s spokesperson, still allowed to tweet out his press releases, posted one on Friday that appeared to acknowledge the conspiracy theory he would be reinstated. After blasting President Joe Biden, it asks, “DO YOU MISS ME YET?”
For many the answer is “no.”
Here are some of the best takes:
Oh look at that, they lied again. Biden is still the President.
— tiredTexan (@tired_in_texas) August 13, 2021
— Liberal15 ⭐⭐ (@Liberal151) August 13, 2021
I was up all night practicing my dance for #ReinstatementDay. I think I finally got it.
— Mel the Enforcer (@Fah_Lo_Me) August 13, 2021
— Garland John Gates (@garlandgates) August 13, 2021
I assume since the price of bleach hasn’t gone up today and the stores still have lots of toilet paper, Trump has yet again failed to assume power. lol😁#TrumpIsALaughingStock
— Leigh (@LeighCBrandt) August 13, 2021
Congratulations to all #Qanons who are finally realizing that you’ve been duped again. #ReinstatementDay is a joke and the #TrumpReinstatement joke’s on you. You’ve finally caught up with what every country at the UN knew in 2018: #TrumpIsALaughingStock pic.twitter.com/Un4N8TJnJj
— Richard Hine (@richardhine) August 13, 2021
Trump Reinstatement Day is like April Fools’ Day but for actual fools.#TrumpIsALaughingStock
— Juan Rivera (@BoricuaEnMaui) August 13, 2021
— NoDogma13 (@NoDogma13) August 13, 2021
— Michael Essentially (@Essentialworker) August 13, 2021
— ✌🏻 The Dude ✌🏻 (@TheDudeTrader1) August 13, 2021
Trumpist Terrorism Is Becoming Normalized: Signorile
In the past three weeks we learned of two violent domestic terror plots by Trump supporters to overthrow the government
This article first appeared in Michelangelo Signorile’s Substack newsletter. To see the article in its original location or to subscribe, click here.
A very particular, cultish and dangerous brand of domestic terrorism has been honed, and we should call it what it is: Trumpist terrorism.
We’ve rarely if ever experienced domestic terrorism organized not only in the service an ideology — white supremacy — but in the name of one person, a cult figure for whom people will kill and die, devoted to his cause and taking perceived orders from him.
But that is what is happening now.
Last week the news broke that two California men were arrested for plotting to bomb Sacramento’s Democratic headquarters in the name of Donald Trump, inspired by the Big Lie that the election was stolen by Joe Biden. One of the men is alleged to have had five live pipe bombs in his home and “between 45 and 50 firearms, including at least three fully automatic weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition.”
That man, Ian Rogers, also wrote in text messages, before the January 20th inauguration of President Biden, which one agent said showed an attempt to try to stop the inauguration from proceeding:
I hope 45 goes to war if he doesn’t I will…
…I want to blow up a Democrat building bad…
…Sad it’s come to this but I’m not going down without a fight…
…These commies need to be told what’s up…
The men were organizing both before and after the January 6th Capitol assault, and discussed other targets including California’s governors mansion, the corporate offices of Facebook and Twitter and Democratic donor George Soros.
In a different time this would be wall to wall media coverage, with strong condemnations coming from the former president himself, and from the leaders of his party. But for much of the media, though they covered it, this was just another story in the blur of insurrection-related stories — including the story of a Virginia insurrectionist group exposed the week before, planning for a “revolution”and led by a man who stormed the Capitol on January 6th and now had the components for 50 homemade bombs.
Needless to say, there was no condemnation statement by the former president — who likely revels in these stories — nor from any Republican Party leader. Even Democratic leaders seemed too busy dealing with all the other assaults on democracy by Republicans to speak out forcefully about these cases.
Trumpist terrorism is becoming normalized.
It’s now expected that people will engage in violence in the name of a former president of the United States. That’s a blood-curdling reality, but in America right now it’s not very shocking, nor surprising. And the greater danger is that if the outcry isn’t loud enough — if we don’t express outrage no matter how commonplace it now may appear — then it will not only be expected; it will be accepted. More and more extremists will be inspired to take up arms, to organize plots to cause massive violence in the name of Trump, hoping for bigger, more disruptive events to break through.
Read the entire article and subscribe at The Signorile Report.
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