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By Barbara Molloy 10 Sep, 2016
If you're wondering how Donald Trump came to be, I have two words for you:  Sean Hannity.  Those are the First and last names of the guy on Fox "News" who is entirely... READ ENTIRELY responsible for the rise ...and soon fall... of Donald Trump. 

Why, you ask, is Trump's rise from real estate guy to Republican Party Candidate for President of the U.S.  the sole responsibility of one man--- Sean Hannity--- middle aged fat Irish man with big hair on Cable T.V. program only white guys over fifty watch?

Wait a minute, you ask...  Nobody watches T.V.  What is 'Fox News?'  Who is Sean Hannity? 

It begins before it begins... Hannity got his job years ago as a "radio man" back when T.V. and radio were everything.  Late sixties to eighties, we're talking.   There was no internet.   Imagine that.  Bandwidth and Television stations.  You had the sound with the picture---T.V.       ......Or you had sound alone:  Radio.

From what he's divulged in interviews, which is all we have to go on biographically speaking, Hannity answered an ad to be a commercial radio voice in the 70's... and got the job.  He had a high school education.  He'd worked odd jobs in construction and bar-tending till then.  Suddenly---with "Fox"---he hit the " big time."

Flash-forward to now.  The same Hannity who worked so earnestly--- never having obtained a post-high school education finds his way to anchor on Fox News.  Yes.   One day the little high school educated Irish kid got "his chance."  

In an interview some years ago on his own radio show syndicated by KTTH here in Seattle,  I heard Hannity say quite candidly that, while graduating high school, he was "not smart enough for college."  I write that sentence without meaning any insult or harm.  He said it with, in fact, great gusto (bragging?).   To my mind, graduating high school and moving quickly to working--- bar tending---construction work...later deciding college is not the right "fit" ...is to be lauded and encouraged ---especially back when Hannity was 18 ---and ditto in today's crazy economy.

So what is the connection  between Donald Trump and Sean Hannity---i.e. Fox?   

Sean Hannity gave Donald Trump air-time turned newsworthy legitimacy---- in interviews  inTown-Hall's--beginning in 2008---- Trump was interviewed by Hannity like any statesman or  government official---mayor or congressman---over and over by Sean Hannity.   The question:  "Is Obama Kenyon born?"  The answer always the same:  "Show Me His Birth Certiticate."   

Not nightly.... but almost weekly.... over the years from 2008 to this writing, Donald Trump's questioning of the President's birth place and birth certificate were given air and legitimate debate on Fox News.

It is very simple---maybe too simple for some of us who read newspapers or even watch T.V.  to comprehend:

Fox News gave air eight years ago to the "birther movement" that continues to this writing.  But, more importantly, Fox News has stoked the demographic---over 50 angry white Americans.  Who are these angry white Americans and what are they angry at...besides the black President?

One can only get into deep trouble attempting to summarize an entire demographic of America.  But here goes:  Angry white Americans over fifty are a lot like a couple of my sisters.  Both of them lost homes in 2007/8.  Both of them fit the high school educated but not fully college educated demographic.  One of them went to college but left freshman year when she got engaged.  The other married barely out of high school.  Both these sisters blame Obama and they blame him outright, with no apologies, vociferously.  Why?

No answers if you asked them ...except...except...whatever they can find as quote from the last Fox News Show.  "Obama is for partial birth abortions."  However unrelated, this is what one sister offered as rebuttal to me when I asked her to elaborate regarding how Obama was responsible for the crash of 2007...which happened when Bush was President..but which she insisted Obama and the democrats were responsible for.  (Note:  this sister borrowed money to buy a home which was foreclosed on in 2008).  Bottom line:  On Fox News you will learn nightly that President Obama is responsible for the Iraq War and abortion.  The chronology of that war, like that of abortion, is of no consequence to the 24/7 battle against information that is Fox News.

The other sister who, if you do not love her upon meeting her and thereafter forevermore...there is something wrong with you... almost hit me with her fist as we drove in her car to the airport after my visit to her a year ago.  Why?  She had read an email that day in which a friend's email to her mentioned someone of Christian faith  having been put off because while at a Walmart witnessing an item of Christian persuasion being taken off a shelf.  Meanwhile, other items showing a Muslim perspective remained on the same shelf (I'm guessing it was the children's section...books?)  I asked my sister to be sure where she got the information.  Not one email, she insisted, but "two emails" said the same thing.  Walmart was being "politically correct" in assuaging Muslim customers over Christians... that was the important information.   

I must apologize at this writing for forgetting exactly what transpired next....after she raised her fist.  Suffice it to say this sister had been watching Fox News 24/7 for 20 plus years. Her husband had complained to her daughters about it.  Others in the family were concerned...  In my reply to her from the passenger seat of her vehicle, I said something like "I don't have all the details about the Walmart thing...I know you read two emails... I know there's a lot of stuff lately on Fox News about political correctness giving Muslims the....   I am only sure she almost punched me prior to my finishing my sentence while screaming:  "If you say Fox News again".......

So, back to the begin:  Switch on Fox tonight.  Hannity will be sponsoring a "Town Hall" with Donald Trump presiding.  There will be an audience of viewers picked by Hannity and Trump to ask questions.  These "Town Halls" sponsored by Hannity in honor of Trump have been a regular of the Fox program schedule since Trump won the Republican Nomination.  True, they occur later in the Fox Programming schedule and therefore represent a lesser status commercially.  This is because Hannity has been demoted based on his over 50 age status.  Hannity has been demoted but the irony on that "demotion" is this:  Fox viewer demographic is over fifty, white males and females.  In other words, the commercial viewership of Fox News is exactly that which a demoted Hannity's programs represent!  

What then is meant by "demotion?"  Fox is trying to woo an audience more sustainable than grey white males.  They put Megan Kelly in the anchor seat, but that did not do what it was supposed to---attract younger people while still appeasing the old geezers who like playboy babes as news anchors. 

I do not know what they will pull out of their hat next.  I do know this:  Sean Hannity is Fox is responsible for Trump.
The Republican party donated millions to Fox over the course of Obama's Presidency.  It worked.  There are millions who watch Fox...far more than watch MSNBC.  They ARE my SISTER.  But, now they are NOT the Republican Party.  How ironic.  The Republican Party has pulled itself from Fox and Hannity and Trump for the damage Fox and Hannity and Trump have done to it and which they----Trump, Fox, Hannity, continue to do.   Fox and Hannity are the NEW Republicans...whoever...whatever...that means to the party they and Fox News well... errr... pretty  much single-handedly destroyed.


By Barbara Molloy 01 Sep, 2016
Last State of the Union Address

Posted on January 14, 2016 by Barbara Molloy-Olund
A local writer here in Seattle — Danny Westneat — tells of the ‘disconnect’ between reality and —what I will term here and now “Republican Reality.” I am writing this a little more than 24 hours after the close of the last State of the Union Address by our current President, Barack Obama.

And, to be sure, the Republican reply by Nikki Haley was not as pointedly negative and undermining as past Republican responses to the State of the Union delivered by President Obama during his tenure. Perhaps the farewell State of the Union address is less “politicized.” While I’m not going to clap for Nikki Haley, I will assert that her choice of acting more classy than her peers is a welcome relief.

But, how about that President of ours? I can’t be more proud of him. He was candid without being deprecating, incisive without insulting. He was to the point politically without being petty of political motivation. Everybody knows what he’s saying when he talks about the gridlock in Congress by mentioning how members of Congress themselves have confided to him of being “fed up.” I would wager not many of us had to decipher his meaning or who–what– he was ‘calling out’ as he spoke of political stalemates opposing or stalling him on everything from military funding to defeat ISIS to voting on measures that will ensure new (small business) entrepreneurs can compete for loans.

Some might be asking: why did he wait till his final State of the Union Address to call out the “gridlock” for what it is: $$$ entrenched interests buying law—i.e., lobbyists? Deregulation (‘brought to you’ by ‘hatred of Government’). Why did he finally directly link the financial collapse of our economy via our biggest banks… and the entire interconnected global economy…to Wall Street gambling? No one from the major player banks has gone to prison on his watch. Most made off with bonuses in addition to their final salaries –paid for and approved of by the boards of the insolvent banks on the cusp of their insolvencies! (See “Bank of America Buys Merrill Lynch”) What’s up with that??
By Barbara Molloy 06 Aug, 2016
I will begin with a quote: A San Diego man was sentenced earlier this week to a year of prison and five years’ probation after threatening members of a Muslim advocacy group…and being found with an illegal automatic rifle in his home. At his sentencing, John David Weissinger’s lawyer advanced a peculiar argument: Binge watching Fox News, in addition to suffering from Alcoholism as well as Anxiety and Depression spurred him to lash out against Muslims. Call it “Foxfluenza.”

One never says “I told you so” or anything like it……..

Writers should never participate in that sort of self congratulations. But dang it!! I’ve been writing about this for some time. I can’t help but feel a little warmth entering my gut and a little smirk coming over my face. It was bound to happen. Why Fox News has not been sued– or come under fire– for the constant casual slanders and sometimes bolder deliberate lies it steers its way around on a daily basis is hard to understand. It is possible (and if this story gains any traction in real news, facts about how Fox has avoided such blame in the past will probably begin to surface) that by referring to yourself as a “news and entertainment show” you’re sealed off from legal parameters regarding slander and false reporting? IOW, news is not beholden to facts when it’s entertainment based, right? The reason for the “news” on Fox is not to inform but to “entertain”.. ultimately to garner ratings.

Fine, we say to ourselves. Some–especially in this year of 2016, with television threatened by so many other mediums of entertainment and consumer-to-viewer choices–are saying “What—Why do you care?” Why–if only fifty-plus year olds are tuning in to Fox….do you care?” Television’s a dinasaur. It’s over.

This is probably my biggest “Achilles” as someone who has been reporting on and opining about the demise of decency, civility, literacy, and journalism in my lifetime: Yes, they’re right. Fox is part of an era on its way out. Bye Bye you elders of the airwaves– Hannity and O’Reilly …even the “youngsters” displacing you are starting to show ‘cracks.’ Megan Kelley’s forehead looks like a layer of “Plastic of Paris” was pulled over it and recently waxed… (By the same crude plastic surgeon who John Travolta should be suing??) …. And the guy who hosts “Red Eye” looks like a middle aged metrosexual in collegiate retro-wear…. too much mousse for too little hair(?)…someone should tell him!

So who’s counting…I mean watching? I honestly do not know. I know this much: It’s still on the air–salaries are being paid.

It’s a fact that Fox survives. It survives notes left behind by domestic terrorists shooting at “enemies” they’ve targeted in their home towns because of information learned watching Fox “News.” It survives fake videos like the one that got Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the U.S. Department of Agruculture, Shirley Sherrod, fired and then reinstated (well she resigned after threats the President himself had seen the fake video and was taking it seriously). A number of years have passed since the Breitbart (Andrew Breitbart) video was shown to be a doctored work of racism by a renegade racist “conservative” given full reign and ostensibly plenty of cash by Fox “News.” But the fall-out has never been discussed, while, as above, Fox “News” thrives…even if only among the 50 to 100 year olds!
By Barbara Molloy 10 Sep, 2016
If you're wondering how Donald Trump came to be, I have two words for you:  Sean Hannity.  Those are the First and last names of the guy on Fox "News" who is entirely... READ ENTIRELY responsible for the rise ...and soon fall... of Donald Trump. 

Why, you ask, is Trump's rise from real estate guy to Republican Party Candidate for President of the U.S.  the sole responsibility of one man--- Sean Hannity--- middle aged fat Irish man with big hair on Cable T.V. program only white guys over fifty watch?

Wait a minute, you ask...  Nobody watches T.V.  What is 'Fox News?'  Who is Sean Hannity? 

It begins before it begins... Hannity got his job years ago as a "radio man" back when T.V. and radio were everything.  Late sixties to eighties, we're talking.   There was no internet.   Imagine that.  Bandwidth and Television stations.  You had the sound with the picture---T.V.       ......Or you had sound alone:  Radio.

From what he's divulged in interviews, which is all we have to go on biographically speaking, Hannity answered an ad to be a commercial radio voice in the 70's... and got the job.  He had a high school education.  He'd worked odd jobs in construction and bar-tending till then.  Suddenly---with "Fox"---he hit the " big time."

Flash-forward to now.  The same Hannity who worked so earnestly--- never having obtained a post-high school education finds his way to anchor on Fox News.  Yes.   One day the little high school educated Irish kid got "his chance."  

In an interview some years ago on his own radio show syndicated by KTTH here in Seattle,  I heard Hannity say quite candidly that, while graduating high school, he was "not smart enough for college."  I write that sentence without meaning any insult or harm.  He said it with, in fact, great gusto (bragging?).   To my mind, graduating high school and moving quickly to working--- bar tending---construction work...later deciding college is not the right "fit" ...is to be lauded and encouraged ---especially back when Hannity was 18 ---and ditto in today's crazy economy.

So what is the connection  between Donald Trump and Sean Hannity---i.e. Fox?   

Sean Hannity gave Donald Trump air-time turned newsworthy legitimacy---- in interviews  inTown-Hall's--beginning in 2008---- Trump was interviewed by Hannity like any statesman or  government official---mayor or congressman---over and over by Sean Hannity.   The question:  "Is Obama Kenyon born?"  The answer always the same:  "Show Me His Birth Certiticate."   

Not nightly.... but almost weekly.... over the years from 2008 to this writing, Donald Trump's questioning of the President's birth place and birth certificate were given air and legitimate debate on Fox News.

It is very simple---maybe too simple for some of us who read newspapers or even watch T.V.  to comprehend:

Fox News gave air eight years ago to the "birther movement" that continues to this writing.  But, more importantly, Fox News has stoked the demographic---over 50 angry white Americans.  Who are these angry white Americans and what are they angry at...besides the black President?

One can only get into deep trouble attempting to summarize an entire demographic of America.  But here goes:  Angry white Americans over fifty are a lot like a couple of my sisters.  Both of them lost homes in 2007/8.  Both of them fit the high school educated but not fully college educated demographic.  One of them went to college but left freshman year when she got engaged.  The other married barely out of high school.  Both these sisters blame Obama and they blame him outright, with no apologies, vociferously.  Why?

No answers if you asked them ...except...except...whatever they can find as quote from the last Fox News Show.  "Obama is for partial birth abortions."  However unrelated, this is what one sister offered as rebuttal to me when I asked her to elaborate regarding how Obama was responsible for the crash of 2007...which happened when Bush was President..but which she insisted Obama and the democrats were responsible for.  (Note:  this sister borrowed money to buy a home which was foreclosed on in 2008).  Bottom line:  On Fox News you will learn nightly that President Obama is responsible for the Iraq War and abortion.  The chronology of that war, like that of abortion, is of no consequence to the 24/7 battle against information that is Fox News.

The other sister who, if you do not love her upon meeting her and thereafter forevermore...there is something wrong with you... almost hit me with her fist as we drove in her car to the airport after my visit to her a year ago.  Why?  She had read an email that day in which a friend's email to her mentioned someone of Christian faith  having been put off because while at a Walmart witnessing an item of Christian persuasion being taken off a shelf.  Meanwhile, other items showing a Muslim perspective remained on the same shelf (I'm guessing it was the children's section...books?)  I asked my sister to be sure where she got the information.  Not one email, she insisted, but "two emails" said the same thing.  Walmart was being "politically correct" in assuaging Muslim customers over Christians... that was the important information.   

I must apologize at this writing for forgetting exactly what transpired next....after she raised her fist.  Suffice it to say this sister had been watching Fox News 24/7 for 20 plus years. Her husband had complained to her daughters about it.  Others in the family were concerned...  In my reply to her from the passenger seat of her vehicle, I said something like "I don't have all the details about the Walmart thing...I know you read two emails... I know there's a lot of stuff lately on Fox News about political correctness giving Muslims the....   I am only sure she almost punched me prior to my finishing my sentence while screaming:  "If you say Fox News again".......

So, back to the begin:  Switch on Fox tonight.  Hannity will be sponsoring a "Town Hall" with Donald Trump presiding.  There will be an audience of viewers picked by Hannity and Trump to ask questions.  These "Town Halls" sponsored by Hannity in honor of Trump have been a regular of the Fox program schedule since Trump won the Republican Nomination.  True, they occur later in the Fox Programming schedule and therefore represent a lesser status commercially.  This is because Hannity has been demoted based on his over 50 age status.  Hannity has been demoted but the irony on that "demotion" is this:  Fox viewer demographic is over fifty, white males and females.  In other words, the commercial viewership of Fox News is exactly that which a demoted Hannity's programs represent!  

What then is meant by "demotion?"  Fox is trying to woo an audience more sustainable than grey white males.  They put Megan Kelly in the anchor seat, but that did not do what it was supposed to---attract younger people while still appeasing the old geezers who like playboy babes as news anchors. 

I do not know what they will pull out of their hat next.  I do know this:  Sean Hannity is Fox is responsible for Trump.
The Republican party donated millions to Fox over the course of Obama's Presidency.  It worked.  There are millions who watch Fox...far more than watch MSNBC.  They ARE my SISTER.  But, now they are NOT the Republican Party.  How ironic.  The Republican Party has pulled itself from Fox and Hannity and Trump for the damage Fox and Hannity and Trump have done to it and which they----Trump, Fox, Hannity, continue to do.   Fox and Hannity are the NEW Republicans...whoever...whatever...that means to the party they and Fox News well... errr... pretty  much single-handedly destroyed.


By Barbara Molloy 01 Sep, 2016
Last State of the Union Address

Posted on January 14, 2016 by Barbara Molloy-Olund
A local writer here in Seattle — Danny Westneat — tells of the ‘disconnect’ between reality and —what I will term here and now “Republican Reality.” I am writing this a little more than 24 hours after the close of the last State of the Union Address by our current President, Barack Obama.

And, to be sure, the Republican reply by Nikki Haley was not as pointedly negative and undermining as past Republican responses to the State of the Union delivered by President Obama during his tenure. Perhaps the farewell State of the Union address is less “politicized.” While I’m not going to clap for Nikki Haley, I will assert that her choice of acting more classy than her peers is a welcome relief.

But, how about that President of ours? I can’t be more proud of him. He was candid without being deprecating, incisive without insulting. He was to the point politically without being petty of political motivation. Everybody knows what he’s saying when he talks about the gridlock in Congress by mentioning how members of Congress themselves have confided to him of being “fed up.” I would wager not many of us had to decipher his meaning or who–what– he was ‘calling out’ as he spoke of political stalemates opposing or stalling him on everything from military funding to defeat ISIS to voting on measures that will ensure new (small business) entrepreneurs can compete for loans.

Some might be asking: why did he wait till his final State of the Union Address to call out the “gridlock” for what it is: $$$ entrenched interests buying law—i.e., lobbyists? Deregulation (‘brought to you’ by ‘hatred of Government’). Why did he finally directly link the financial collapse of our economy via our biggest banks… and the entire interconnected global economy…to Wall Street gambling? No one from the major player banks has gone to prison on his watch. Most made off with bonuses in addition to their final salaries –paid for and approved of by the boards of the insolvent banks on the cusp of their insolvencies! (See “Bank of America Buys Merrill Lynch”) What’s up with that??
By Barbara Molloy 06 Aug, 2016
I will begin with a quote: A San Diego man was sentenced earlier this week to a year of prison and five years’ probation after threatening members of a Muslim advocacy group…and being found with an illegal automatic rifle in his home. At his sentencing, John David Weissinger’s lawyer advanced a peculiar argument: Binge watching Fox News, in addition to suffering from Alcoholism as well as Anxiety and Depression spurred him to lash out against Muslims. Call it “Foxfluenza.”

One never says “I told you so” or anything like it……..

Writers should never participate in that sort of self congratulations. But dang it!! I’ve been writing about this for some time. I can’t help but feel a little warmth entering my gut and a little smirk coming over my face. It was bound to happen. Why Fox News has not been sued– or come under fire– for the constant casual slanders and sometimes bolder deliberate lies it steers its way around on a daily basis is hard to understand. It is possible (and if this story gains any traction in real news, facts about how Fox has avoided such blame in the past will probably begin to surface) that by referring to yourself as a “news and entertainment show” you’re sealed off from legal parameters regarding slander and false reporting? IOW, news is not beholden to facts when it’s entertainment based, right? The reason for the “news” on Fox is not to inform but to “entertain”.. ultimately to garner ratings.

Fine, we say to ourselves. Some–especially in this year of 2016, with television threatened by so many other mediums of entertainment and consumer-to-viewer choices–are saying “What—Why do you care?” Why–if only fifty-plus year olds are tuning in to Fox….do you care?” Television’s a dinasaur. It’s over.

This is probably my biggest “Achilles” as someone who has been reporting on and opining about the demise of decency, civility, literacy, and journalism in my lifetime: Yes, they’re right. Fox is part of an era on its way out. Bye Bye you elders of the airwaves– Hannity and O’Reilly …even the “youngsters” displacing you are starting to show ‘cracks.’ Megan Kelley’s forehead looks like a layer of “Plastic of Paris” was pulled over it and recently waxed… (By the same crude plastic surgeon who John Travolta should be suing??) …. And the guy who hosts “Red Eye” looks like a middle aged metrosexual in collegiate retro-wear…. too much mousse for too little hair(?)…someone should tell him!

So who’s counting…I mean watching? I honestly do not know. I know this much: It’s still on the air–salaries are being paid.

It’s a fact that Fox survives. It survives notes left behind by domestic terrorists shooting at “enemies” they’ve targeted in their home towns because of information learned watching Fox “News.” It survives fake videos like the one that got Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the U.S. Department of Agruculture, Shirley Sherrod, fired and then reinstated (well she resigned after threats the President himself had seen the fake video and was taking it seriously). A number of years have passed since the Breitbart (Andrew Breitbart) video was shown to be a doctored work of racism by a renegade racist “conservative” given full reign and ostensibly plenty of cash by Fox “News.” But the fall-out has never been discussed, while, as above, Fox “News” thrives…even if only among the 50 to 100 year olds!
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