Facebook Posts 2020

I write a variety of posts on Facebook including my observations on politics, current events, sports, business and life. Shown below are some recent posts. Many of my Facebook posts are written from emotion rather than reason. My comments are in italics.

Responding to  my friend Mike’s claim about the qualifications of Amy Comey Barrett for the Supreme Court…

Oh she is qualified, if you want to get rid of Obamacare. Oh she is qualified, if you want to get rid of Roe v. Wade. Oh she is qualified, If you want a judge who will protect corporations against the interest of consumers and smaller businesses. Mike, I’m not sure what papers you read or what your sources of information are. Trump about a week ago wanted to table any aid for consumers or businesses related to coronavirus until after the election. What changed his mind? The stock market!! By the way, Mike, can you tell me what Trump’s plan is to replace Obamacare? If you can, you are the only person in the United States who can. (10-13-20)

My comments about Mrs. Barrett’s nomination in general…

I guess the kindest thing that I can say about this hearing is to agree with Senator Klobuchar that it is a “sham.” We are conducting this hearing in the middle of an election that Trump will probably lose and in the middle of an epidemic where over 200,000 people have died and maybe another hundred thousand more will die before the end of 2020. When our priorities should be about helping businesses and individuals cope with the effects of this pandemic, we are witnessing the jamming of an unqualified nominee for purely political and ideological purposes. I laugh when I hear that this is an effort for pro life. Republicans don’t give a damn about the incredible mess that they have made of this country. Just watched Senator McConnell yesterday laughing in derision when his opponent in a debate cited all the deaths involved in the coronavirus. I am deeply ashamed of this country….(10-13-20)

My observations about Harris-Pence VP Debate

I think Kamala did a great job  but regrettably it will not change any votes.  Four years ago, I saw another woman basically clean the floor with her male opponent at three debates. (10-7-20

My observations about the over the top Trump-Biden debate:

I can’t watch this debate anymore! This is a joke. Biden should walk off the stage and let Trump talk to himself. (9-29-20)

An observation about the utility of meetings from my corporate life.

I’ve been retired for a few years from corporate life but I do not miss meetings. 95% of them were a waste of my time and unproductive. (8-21-20)

Ruminations as I walked during the first few weeks of the pandemic.

In lieu of pickleball, I now take long walks from my home into Merchantville. It is a very quiet journey. I pass very few cars and very few people. Playgrounds are empty. No kids playing in the streets. Sporadically, I will pass another walker or a jogger. Except for the pharmacies, there is no commerce in Merchantville. Streets in the business district are empty. Parking meters stand lonely. I wonder and worry how many of the small businesses like those in Merchantville will survive if they are unable to open within the next few months. (3-24-20)

Entertainment advice at the beginning of quarantine…

For all of us who may soon be quarantined, I recommend watching the original and reprise versions of The Thomas Crown Affair. Both movie versions are excellent.  I prefer the Steve McQueen – Faye Dunaway version based on this one scene. (Steve and Faye’s characters playing “seductive” chess)  Never realized that playing chess could be so seductive… (3-8-20)

ACB < RBG

Amy Coney Barrett has an impressive academic and career resume. She also appears to be a great mom and wife. She has also adopted two Haitian children and has a child with Down syndrome comprising her children of seven. She is articulate, young and smart. 

But I do not believe she should be confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice…

There are four reasons why I would not want to see Mrs. Barrett confirmed.

First, she was nominated by Donald Trump. A President obviously has the right and obligation to nominate a qualified person for the Supreme Court. But Mr. Trump has the performance record of the ‘NFC East” in making Cabinet and other political appointments. Many have been a disaster because they were unqualified or misused their offices. So based on who is recommending her and on those who are supporting her, I have reservations about her being the best person for the job. 

Second, Merrick Garland. In 2016, Republicans chose not to act on his nomination to the Supreme Court even when it was announced in March 2016. Republican senators pushed back that the next President should have the opportunity to nominate the next Supreme Court justice. Most Americans, according to recent polls, agree that the selection of the next Supreme Court justice should be left to the winner of the November election. Given that the election is a month away, I would agree there should be no rush for this decision to be made given my third point below.

Third, Congress should be focused on one thing and that is helping Americans and small businesses to survive through the pandemic. I realize that many Republicans are fighting for their political lives but many Americans are literally fighting for their lives. Given the rise in pandemic rates and with winter approaching, Congress must focus on addressing national priorities not fighting ideological battles. This is a lifetime appointment and requires appropriate due diligence and deliberation.

Fourth, I was very young when John F. Kennedy addressed voters’ concerns about his Catholicism in 1960 and how it could affect his political decisions. JFK successfully convinced the electorate that his religious beliefs would not determine his policy directions. I’m not totally comfortable that Mrs. Barrett feels that way. I’m also not comfortable that Mrs. Barrett is part of a religion that promotes a pro-life agenda while having allowed tens of thousands of children to be abused by its clergy and then to maliciously lie and cover up the claims of abuse. There are already five Catholics on the current Supreme Court. I’d like to see some additional diversity in temperament, background, experience and perspective when it comes to a life time appointment. I would not mind seeing an atheist or agnostic judge (if a qualified one admits to it) than a religious one.

Irresponsible

Is Trump really sick or is this just a big hoax to gin up sympathy for his declining campaign?

How could he have walked out of the hospital without a doctor’s release or  permission to drive around the block?

More importantly, how could anyone in the administration including his Chief of Staff, Secret Service Director, Vice President etc. think that this was remotely an appropriate or good idea? They thought this was a good idea to reassure Americans of his health?

Does Trump and his family (wife, daughters, sons etc) have any consideration for the health and lives of people who surround him (Secret Service, medical, aides, staff members, donors, supporters etc) and their families?

Why can’t the press and the country get straight answers about his health, his treatment, his prognosis etc.?

Why haven’t the Republican leadership insisted that Trump sign over temporary Presidential powers to Pence?

Are there really 40% of the voters in this country who think he should be re-elected?

Why I Am Not a Catholic and My Non-Religious Objections to Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court

As part of full disclosure, I was baptized a Catholic, received the sacraments of Confirmation, Holy Communion and confession. I attended a Catholic grade school, a Catholic high school and one year of a Catholic university. I was married 43 years ago in a Catholic church ceremony. My wife is a devoted Catholic who attends mass weekly. I have friends and family who are devout Catholics and continue to attend church services. I have friends of other faiths and I respect their religious beliefs. I just don’t share them…

The Bible tells of the story of Paul who was converted on the way to Damascus after being blinded by a bright light. Unlike Paul, I experienced a deconversion but it was not very sudden and not as dramatic as his experience. It occurred over years. I experienced some qualms about the Catholic faith as early as age 12 when I heard priests say that those who were not baptized in the Catholic faith would not see the kingdom of heaven. That claim did not seem very fair to me but I also understand that many other religions preach the same doctrine. I also was not very comfortable about a belief in the existence of God. One of the priests in my high school started off the class by saying that he was going to prove the existence of God. Basically he promulgated the first cause argument, that if you go back into history and rewind the time machine that God was the cause of everything included creation. I remember the priest being very satisfied with his lecture until I asked, “In that case, who created God?” Was there some thing or someone in existence prior to God? 

So while Paul may have been on his way to Damascus, I was on my way to Doubt. But while my questions about the existence of God were not settled, my doubts about the Catholic Church were settled. I did not agree with their positions on birth control, abortion, divorce, women’s role in the church and papal infallibility.

I was also sickened by stories of abuses of children by priests. In my particular diocese, there were numerous cases of these abuses and worse, coverups by Bishops, Cardinals and Popes. Abuses of children by priests were worldwide. I found it very hypocritical that the Church thought it had a moral voice given the atrocities it had committed over centuries. While I recognize the good works of many priests and nuns as well as many Catholics, I found that the Church as an institution was very corrupt and should have no role in saving souls.

I would have expected some type of reform and housecleaning but little has changed. Old white men continue to run the Church as they have for centuries, poorly. There have been reports of various financial irregularities. I also spent some time learning of the Church’s dismal history, particularly Pope Pius XII’s activities or lack of in protecting Jews from the Holocaust.

I’ve never been comfortable with the Church’s position in politics. I remember when John F. Kennedy ran for president in 1960, he made a special point that he would not integrate his religious beliefs with his duties as President of the United States. In other words, he was not going to take any advice from the Vatican or the pope. I can’t say that all Catholic politicians or Supreme Court justices have followed Kennedy’s example.

Of course the hot button issue for Catholics is abortion. However the Church’s position on birth control made this so much more problematic. The Church’s position on birth control also promoted poverty, hunger and crime in many countries. In 2016 Catholics preferred Trump over Hillary Clinton by 23%. Many Catholics believed that Trump had a respect for life. I question where this respect is for the 200,000+ people who have died from COVID-19 and for the many more that will die from Trump’s lack of attention to the disease.

The Church also came out within the past few weeks with their opposition to euthanasia. Described as “poisonous to society,” the church is prohibiting the distribution of sacraments to those who wish to end their lives. Two years ago, I watched my mother struggle and literally wither away from dementia. When I visited her nursing home, I had absolutely no sense that there was a divine presence in her building that gave a damn about her suffering. This is part of what the Church believes is there respect for life. I see it as unnecessary suffering and loss of personal dignity.

So in a purely partisan move to help his declining political campaign, Donald Trump has nominated Amy Connie Barrett for Supreme Court justice. Mrs. Barrett possesses some outstanding personal characteristics. At this point, her character appears impeccable. There are some who are concerned about her Catholicism. I may share some of that concern myself. But my opposition to Mrs. Barrett is based on other concerns:

First, I don’t believe that she should’ve been nominated unless Donald Trump is reelected in six weeks. In 2016, the Republicans blocked Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court despite the fact he was nominated in March to replace Judge Antonin Scalia. Republicans said that the next Supreme Court nominee should come from the winner of the November election. The same protocol should’ve been applied to Mrs. Barrett’s nomination.

Second, Mrs. Barrett has been nominated by an inept and incompetent man. His Administration is strewn with men and women who have been unable to perform their duties in the Cabinet or other areas of government. These men and women are people that Donald Trump has chosen. I have no confidence in any man or woman that Donald Trump chooses. I also have little confidence in any man or woman that would accept a high-level government position from Donald Trump.

Can anyone find an appointee of Donald Trump that is doing a good job?

Dewey Beats Truman: A Cautionary Tale for 2020

I just finished an excellent book titled Dewey Beats Truman: The 1948 Election and The Battle for America’s Soul by AJ Baime. It serves as a cautionary tale of what could happen, particularly to the unpleasant surprise for Democrats, in this year’s Presidential election.

First, my admiration for Truman as a President continues to grow. His administration was dealing with post Second World War relations and issues with the Soviet Union. There was a genuine concern there may be war between the two countries, particularly when the Soviets tried to blockade food and supplies getting into Berlin. Civil Rights was a huge issue as black soldiers returning home from the war demanding equal opportunity and equal justice. Truman initiated a number of civil rights legislation that infuriated the Southern Democrats in his own party. Truman was an early supporter for the state of Israel. This angered many in his party who were concerned that the Arab states would cut back on the distribution of oil to the United States.

Second, there are some corollaries between candidates Truman and Trump. Polls showed that both candidates were/are behind 15-20% of their challengers. Political pundits and writers almost unanimously picked Thomas Dewey, the Republican candidate to win. Dewey was so confident of winning that he was focusing on who would be members of his Cabinet when he won in November. Major newspapers including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post endorsed Dewey. Both Trump and Truman were characterized as unpopular candidates. Congressional candidates running for reelection avoided having their endorsements or helping their campaigns with joint appearances. There were also concerns about one candidate winning the popular vote but the other winning the electoral college and causing a crisis. (Fortunately Truman easily won the popular and electoral college vote.)

Third, there were concerns in 1948, like today, of Soviet Union involvement in the election. During the campaign, Joseph Stalin exchanged letters with the progressive candidate, Henry Wallace. Stalin’s involvement intimated that he could work on building a peace with Wallace. The Soviet Union also engaged in certain military and political activities that were intended to discredit the Truman presidency and campaign.

Fourth, Truman’s path to victory was more problematic. Southern Democrats bolted the party as they opposed civil rights for blacks. They nominated Strom Thurmond as their choice for President. (Ironic that Strom was such a huge segregationist as he fathered a black daughter. To his credit, he did support and take care of her, surreptitiously.) The progressive wing of the Democratic Party nominated Henry Wallace as President. Wallace was not afraid to identify with the communist party. Wallace portrayed himself as a peace candidate, he was afraid that Truman would declare war on the Soviet Union.

Since Truman was not expected to win, campaign funds were very low. Customary Democratic party contributors decided to sit out this presidential election. This impacted Truman’s ability to get out his message, particularly with the advent of election coverage by television networks.

Sadly there were some things that happened in 1948 that still occur today. There were a number of incidents where innocent black men were killed by white mobs and gangs in southern states. These murders were often taken to suppress black voting turnout in the South. Despite overwhelming prosecution evidence presented at the trials of the of the people responsible and charged for the crimes, white juries in those southern states would not render guilty verdicts.

There are differences between the campaigns of 1948 and today. In 1948, both Harry Truman and Thomas Dewey refused to engage in character assassination and both treated their respective opponent with relative respect. When the votes were counted, Dewey respectfully conceded the election and wished Truman well. We certainly have not seen that courtesy exhibited today. In addition, the incumbent, President Truman engaged in a whistle-stop tour sharing his plans on foreign and domestic affairs. His speeches were disciplined. Truman addressed voters concerns, he did not engage in vitriolic language and focused on policies, not personality.

Evil Geniuses: the Unmaking of America : A Recent History by Kurt Andersen

This is a very sobering but not surprising story. The “evil geniuses” in this story include Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump, Milton Friedman, Lewis Powell, John H. Sununu, Mitch McConnell, Grover Norquist, Robert Bork and others. The Democrats own a lot of the blame too. Their Congress representatives were lobbied to support various deregulation efforts and tax cut packages. And now many Americans reap what has been sowed and plotted by the economic right.

The rich have gotten richer and the middle and lower classes have struggled the past 40 years. Listed below are some notes from my reading of the book:

In 1980, income above $700,000 (in today’s dollars) was taxed at 70% by the federal government, but today the top rate is 37%. And the richest Americans, who back in the day paid an average of 51% in federal, state and local taxes combined, now pay just 33%.

The richest 0.01% of Americans, the one in 10,000 families worth an average of $500 million, pay in effect federal income tax rate half what it was in the 1970s.

Before 1980, all Americans’ incomes grew at the same basic rate as the overall economy. Since 1980, the only people whose incomes have increased at that rate are people with household incomes in the range today of $180,000 to $450,000. People with incomes higher than that, the top 1%, have gotten increases much bigger than the overall economic growth. Meanwhile 90% of Americans have done worse than the economy overall.

The average monthly Social Security retirement benefit more than tripled from 1950 to 1980, adjusted for inflation, but it has increased by just half in the four decades since.

“The greatest lie is that the 401(k) was capable of replacing the old system of pensions,” says the regretful man who was president of the American Society of Pension actuaries at the time and who had given his strong endorsement to 401(k)s. Today only one in eight private sector employees are in line to get such a pension, and most American workers don’t even have a 401(k) or an IRA or any other retirement account.

Only a quarter of people graduating from four-year public colleges and universities in the early 1990s had student loan debt; by 2010, 2/3 did.

The United States economy since 1980 has grown as much as or more than those of most of our rich country peers, although not all —-Sweden, for instance, has continuously grown faster than America for the last 30 years. But while the average US income and GDP per capita have risen as fast as or faster than incomes in your European economies, in exceptional America the more real life relevant median income – – the amount of money going to the person who earns more than the poor half and less than the rich half has hardly budged for decades.

In every international ranking of healthcare quality, the United States is low, from 28th to 37th place. Until the 1980s too, life expectancies for people in all the rich countries were increasing right in line but now people in the other countries live 3 to 5 years longer on average than Americans. According to the health efficiency index compiled by Bloomberg News which combines longevity and healthcare spending into a single metric for almost every country, the United States is second from the bottom, better only than Bulgaria.

Senescence

My pithy observations on maturity and the art of getting older…

Photo by Trang Pham from Pexels

We open our book of life to see there are not very many pages left.

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A great antidote to depression or melancholy is the comforting smile of a young child.

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As years grow longer, handshakes, hugs and kisses among friends are stronger.

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Those who are truly happy, if offered a chance to enter a time machine and go back to relive their lives, would decline and say, “I would not change a thing.”

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Songs trigger old memories—-some bring a smile, some bring a tear. 

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We wear fatigue like a thin blanket hanging loosely from our slightly stooped shoulders.

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One’s definition of “success’ matures with age. Success becomes not so much what one has but what one did with what one had.

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Past events that seemed so embarrassing and foolish then are accepted with a wry smile and a forgiving heart now.

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Add 20% to the time it usually took you to complete routine duties like taking out the trash, going grocery shopping, finding your keys and climbing the stairs.

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What we miss surpasses what we look forward to…

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Women retain their desirability by their humor, laughter and conversation; men by simply listening.

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Our nightmares are not events that could happen but did happen.

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What often frightens the young, amuses the mature.

Poor White Boy from South Camden Memories

I have referred to myself as a “poor white boy from South Camden” when describing my early youth (ages 0-10). I lived with my parents and grandparents in the same house. My sister was born when I was three years old. My grandfather died when I was six and my father passed away when I was seven. 

Camden was a different city than it is today. In 1960, when I was seven, “white flight” had not yet started. There were stores, bakeries, professional buildings and doctor’s offices on Mt Ephraim Avenue and on Broadway. I even remember a movie theater in the center part of Camden.  Crime and poverty were not as prevalent as it would become. I lived in a three bedroom, two level very modest home on Morton Street, located within South Camden, till I was eight or nine. The area was referred to as “Polack town”, where many Polish immigrants and their families settled.”With my mother, grandmother and sister, we moved to Sheridan Street which was about four blocks from the Morton Street residence. The house on Morton Street burned down sometime in the 70s or 80s I believe.

Listed below are some of my memories of living in South Camden (1952-1962):

Neighbors sweeping the streets and sidewalks with brooms of any trash or garbage. The streets were spotless. Everyone policed their own areas in front of their homes.

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Reading Sergeant Rock and Superman comics while waiting to get my haircut from a barber at Whitman Park.

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Walking home from St Joseph’s Grammar School located on Mechanic Street, about a 1.50 mile trip one way. My mother did not drive and there was no bus so I walked home all the time. No problem in nice weather. Problem walking in bad or snowy weather!

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I walked home from school during Hurricane Donna in 1960. Since my mother did not drive, I had to walk home through the start of the storm. I remember nurses from West Jersey Hospital stopping me on Mt. Ephraim Avenue trying to get me to come inside the hospital but I was concerned that my mother would worry where I was or whether I had gotten hurt in the storm. Scary walk as I was concerned about power lines coming down as the wind gusts were strong.

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Listening to Joe Niagara, Bill Wright, Sr, Hy Lit and other disk jockeys on  WIBG-AM on my transistor radio.

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Playing music on 78 and 45 RPM records.

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Very uncomfortable summer days and nights of heat and humidity. No air conditioners, just fans in the house.

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Buying and eating babkas and chruscikis from Morton Bakery down the street.

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Bottles of milk being delivered to a mailbox on the front porch by a Sealtest driver.

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Eating and enjoying cheese, sauerkraut and potato pierogis made by my grandmother.

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The horrible smell of my grandmother making kiszka (blood sausage) that literally made me gag and run from the house.

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Playing little league baseball at Whitman Park. My first team was sponsored by the PACC (Polish American Citizens Club). I remember the parade through South Camden streets when the baseball season opened up.

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Being taught Polish in school. (As an aside, I never learned the language though my grandmother spoke it all the time. Her English was very broken.) My grandfather did not speak any English.

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I vaguely remember being in some type of second or three grade play where I played Johnny Jump Up (?) Surprisingly my acting career never got off the ground.

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Parades on Red and White day down Mt. Ephraim Avenue from the grammar to the high school to celebrate St Joseph. I remember the St Joe’s High School cheerleaders dressed in their red and white uniforms and pompoms. I guess other events took place but I still remember the cheerleaders.

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First girlfriend—age 7: Robin. She had blonde curly hair and blue eyes. Year younger than me but she spoke Polish. Age difference killed our relationship.

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Pulaski Day parades with bands and other marching starting at the Radio Condenser building and going past my house on Sheridan Street.

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Watching St. Joseph High School football at Farnham Park. I remember a caravan of cars with red and white streamers honking on the way to the game and if St Joe’s won, honking after the game and driving through town to celebrate. Back then I rooted for St Joe’s when they played Camden Catholic. A few years later that changed.

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Buying and trading baseball cards with my school friends. A pack of cards cost a nickel and you got a stick of gum too!

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Buying Yum Yums (water ice) from the Yum Yum man. He was usually drunk when he biked up our street with his cart. Sometimes he forgot to get paid. I was partial to cherry and orange flavored Yum Yums.

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Walking behind a Mosquito Control truck as it went down the street fumigating the area with a cloud of dangerous chemicals. All the kids on the block did it. No one stopped us.

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While playing football with my friends at Municipal Hospital (off Cope Street), Jersey Joe Walcott, (who was Camden’s Director of Public Safety and former boxing heavyweight champion) pulled up to where were playing with four police cars filled with men carrying shotguns and other weapons. Scared the hell out of us as we were trespassing on hospital grounds but Jersey Joe and the police officers were looking for escaped convicts who were spotted where we were playing. Jersey Joe asked if we saw anyone. We didn’t. He and the police left. We resumed our football game.

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Playing half ball, wall ball, wire ball, wiffle ball, stick ball and box ball at Stanley Klish’s (classmate’s house. (Coincidentally, my future wife and her family lived on the street and my future wife may have even played in some of the games. We have no memory of each other though we remember the games. She also went to St Joseph’s but we were in different classes.)

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Another coincidence: My wife and I were both baptized and married by the same priest (Father Ed Korda).

First Communion Picture 1960: Me, Stashu (best friend) and my sister, Sandra–side of the Morton St. house

Book Review: Hoax by Brian Stelter

So there is a resistance movement within Fox News! Good to know! Today it was on display as many Fox “journalists” defended Jennifer Griffin after Trump wanted her fired after her sources revealed that certain allegations in the recent Atlantic article were confirmed by her sources. Trump accused our military dead, injured and POWs as being “losers.”

Fox Heroes: Carl Cameron, Shep Smith, Neil Cavuto, Chris Wallace and Brett Baier

Fox Zeroes: Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Jeanne Pirro, Lou Dobbs, Bill O’Reilly, Eric Bolling, Kimberly Guilfoyle

Listed below are some sections from the Stetler book to give one a taste of what it covered and was about:

The day after his on air powwow with Hannity, the president called the host with a question; “How did we do?” Hannity knew that the real meaning of the question was “How did we rate?” pg. 5

Hannity chose this life, so no one felt sorry for him, but the stress took its toll. “Hannity would tell you, off off off the record, that Trump is a bat shit crazy person,” one of his associates said. Another colleague concurred; “Hannity has said to me, more than once, “he’s crazy”. pg. 9

Most Americans knew that Trump was on trustworthy, but the Fox base still trusted him. They also trusted Hannity, who dismissed “coronavirus hysteria,” and Laura Ingraham, who called Democrats “the panDEMic party” and Watters , who said, “I’m not a bit afraid of the coronavirus and no one else should be that afraid either.” pg. 12

It’s worth stating the obvious here: Trump’s entanglement with Fox has no historical precedent. Never before has a TV network effectively produced the president’s intelligence briefing and staff the federal bureaucracy. Never before has a president promoted a single TV channel, ask the hosts for advice behind closed doors, and demanded for them to be fired when they stepped out of line. pg.22

Here’s what everyone should understand about Fox’s relationship with Trump, a former Fox and Friends producer said: “People think he’s calling up Fox and Friends and telling us what to say. Hell no. It’s the opposite. We tell him what to say.” pg.43

What works (at Fox): 

  • Stories about undocumented immigrants killing Americans
  • Stories about citizens standing up to the government bureaucracy 
  • Stories about college students disrespecting the flag 
  • Stories about hate crime hoaxes 
  • Stories about liberal media outlets suppressing the truth 
  • And whenever possible stories involving attractive women pg.50

Sex is what Ailes (Roger) wanted, and sex is what he got. He used his power to enforce the short skirts and “leg cams” and exploitive segments that kept men watching. He also abused his power by preying on dozens of women, including Gretchen Carlson, who hatched a plan to hold him accountable. Ailes downfall would coincide with Trump’s takeover of the American right. (pg.51)

(Kimberly) Guilfoyle’s cheerleading for Ailes confused some staffers, since Ailes was known to be dismissive of her in private. According to unsubstantiated allegations in a lawsuit filed by former Fox co host Julie Roginsky, Ailes once said to her that Guilfoyle would “get on her knees for anyone.” pg. 67

In private, during the 2016 primaries, (Carl) Cameron likened Trump to a con man and reminded people of all Trump’s documented fraudulent activity. He pointed out that Fox was owned by Murdoch, a phenomenally successful businessman who built a global media empire, while Trump merely sold his name to other people’s projects. pg.123

Rounding out the five was a “hot chick,” and in Ailes’ words — – two actually, Kimberly Guilfoyle and Andrea Tantaros, who took turns sitting at the end of the table so the wide shot shot showed off their legs. That was the “leg chair.” pg. 139

(Ailes) always wanted a certain southern beauty queen look from the women on his channel. Sometimes (Suzanne) Scott would convey his messages directly, by telling new hires to “let hair and make up do their job.” She wanted more glam, longer eyelash extensions, shorter skirts, bronzer legs. Some of the Fox make up artists called it the “Barbie doll look.” pg. 143

Poll after poll showed that Fox viewers were less concerned about the virus than average consumers of other news sources, strongly suggesting a linkage between the networks’ commentary and the audience’s beliefs. The Knight foundation and Gallup found that 57% of respondents with a “conservative news diet” believe that the new virus was less deadly than or as deadly as the flu. pg. 306