unhingery continues in the White House aided by OAN and FoxNews

Thomas Cizauskas / Flickr tRump refuses to honor John McCain 1590096401.jpg...
Thomas Cizauskas / Flickr

A desperate Trump is trying to signal to his armed followers like the boogaloo boys that something needs to be done to free Seattle from those “anarchists”.

If disinformation can be naked it’s at least nude in Foxlandia.

The ground truth is much different, but Trump wants that chaos to draw attention from his rising COVID-19 death toll and the debacle of his attempt to weaponize a walk to St John’s church with his Bible. He’s getting all kinds of help from OAN.

As Matthew Gertz documented, in the 90 minutes or so before Trump erupted, Fox pumped out some extraordinarily lurid imagery of the scene, complete with chyrons such as “liberals surrender America,” “Seattle surrenders police precinct” and “Seattle under siege.”

Even if you grant Trump’s premise that things are getting somewhat out of control there — which is debatable — it’s still highly demented for Trump to issue threats to send in the military apparently based on what he sees on Fox News.

It’s another sign of how deeply Trump dwells in “Foxlandia,” where he’s always winning and everything he does is strong.


Ask yourself: How likely is it that Trump solicited a briefing on these events before issuing such a threat? If he didn’t, why is something this deeply abnormal being greeted with a collective shrug?

And if he did, how likely is it that anyone in his circle would have recommended something like what Trump threatened?

Which brings us to another way in which this makes Trump look weak and feckless: It comes just after Trump’s threat to do this in other cities has been thoroughly rebuked by his own generals.


It’s in the context of the military officials’ extraordinary rebuke that this latest episode should be seen. Coming after his own generals have publicly let their resistance to such impulses be known, and seen in light of the actual events on the ground, it looks weak and rather pathetic.

But deep inside Foxlandia, Trump’s striding across a militarily pacified zone is still seen as a glorious triumph. And so it is that from deep in Foxlandia, Trump issued another such threat.

After all, deep in Foxlandia, Trump almost certainly does not grasp the basic meaning of that rebuke, why it’s so significant and what it says to the country about what his presidency has become.


The OAN report tries to suggest that this result is somehow a repudiation of CNN’s poll. It isn’t, for a variety of reasons. The most obvious, of course, is that the CNN poll was national and the OAN poll conducted only in Florida. Florida polling from other outlets shows Biden with a narrow lead in the state of about three points on average.

Meaning that if, say, a third of respondents in OAN’s poll said they were undecided, Biden could be leading Trump 52 to 48 among voters who have made up their minds. That puts the OAN/Gravis poll very much in line with other polling in the state.

That Rouz is so sloppy and presents the findings so dishonestly should not be a surprise. He has another report that was published by OAN on Thursday. It is a buffet of allegations that would resonate with Trump: The “deep state” is working with Democrats to produce polls making Republican voters demoralized. It’s lifting up one of the dumber points of contention Trump’s team raised in its criticism of the CNN poll but somehow manages to do so in an even more ridiculous way.

This entire polling effort by OAN is a remarkable, if unintentional, window into how the network works. Its chief executive trumpets a poll that he promises is likely to show Trump doing well. His on-air reporter gins up a thoroughly misleading presentation of results that are far from great for the president. For some reason — but probably exactly that reason — the story and the report get deep-sixed.

After all, Trump’s not going to want to watch that. We don’t want him switching over to Fox, now, do we?


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Scott Auden
Scott Auden

This is partly his (very unwise) response to the generals’ rebuke. He thinks he has to prove that their rebuke is meaningless. He may well try to order them to do it anyway, just to prove a point. Be interesting to see if he finally breaks the military, or if they resign first.