THE MILBANK FILES: On Fox, Kilmeade mutilates sleep!


What Milbank is talking about: Last evening, Brian Kilmeade arrived on the front during the 8 P.M. hour.

Kilmeade was serving as guest host on Tucker Carlson Tonight. When the latest (possible) bombshell hit, he was speaking with Lara Trump.

The possible bombshell involved the claim that Donald J. Trump may have been hiding top-secret documents involving nuclear weapons at his Mar-a-Lago estate—possible documents he had possibly refused to return to the National Archives.

Had Trump really been hiding such documents at his muggy estate? This morning, as we type, that fact is still unknown. 

The facts remain unknown. Given the way our system now works, we the people will never agree on what the facts actually are.

We the people will never agree as to what actually happened here! But here's how the angry Kilmeade proceeded when the report of this possibility broke at the Washington Post:

KILMEADE (8/11/22): Let's read this together. The Washington Post has just crossed with this story. They believe the reason why the raid took place is because they were worried that your father-in-law had documents related to nuclear weapons among the items the FBI wanted back. 

[Quoting from the Post] "The unusual search underscores deep concerns among government officials about the types of information they thought could be located at Trump's Mar-a-Lago club."

So far, that was almost accurate! But now, as the fuming Kilmeade continued, this braindead exchange occurred:

KILMEADE (continuing directly): Did you see any nuclear reports at the Mar-a-Lago club? Maybe around the pool, by the lifeguard stand?

LARA TRUMP: Yeah, no. Those were not disseminated freely at Mar-a-Lago. I mean, who knows?

Lara hadn't seen any nuclear documents as she lounged by the pool! Deftly, she changed the subject now, instantly offering this:

"By the way, I think it's a mystery to a lot of people what could rise to the level of not taking a different approach and instead raiding the former president's home."

She just couldn't figure it out! With that, Lara Trump moved on from the possible bombshell report about the possible nuclear documents. She and the angry, fuming Kilmeade never returned to the topic.

Kilmeade had been behaving like a madman right from the start of the hour. At this point, around 8:20 P.M., the ultimate journalistic inanity—There were no documents out by the pool!—had finally hit the fan.

Or did that happen a few minutes later, at the end of Kilmeade's angry opening segment? At that point, the functionary sent Lara Trump packing, then told viewers this:

KILMEADE: This is not going away. Violent crime out of control. Democrats aren't interested in doing anything to make our cities safer, including the one we're in. Instead, they want to arm IRS agents to hunt down everyday Americans. 

And don't forget, by the way—this is great! A brand new episode of Tucker's blockbuster documentary, a Tucker Carlson Original, out right now.

It is called "Cattle Mutilations," and you can stream it on Fox Nation. Free membership, and extended preview, only if you go to Tucker

There followed an ad for the blockbuster new documentary. The ad included the possibility that the many mutilations in the past forty years have been caused by extraterrestrials. 

No, we aren't making this up! Thanks to the Internet Archive, you can watch this whole segment, and the subsequent Cattle Mutilations ad, just by clicking here.

The ad for the cattle mutilations may have made what went before seem almost sane by comparison. That said, this is the cultural state of affairs Dana Milbank is describing in his new book, the one with the slightly odd title:

The Destructionists: The Twenty-Five-Year Crack-Up of the Republican Party

Roughly thirty years after Newt Gingrich composed his vocabulary lists; thirty-four years after Rush Limbaugh took his program national; almost thirty years after Jerry Falwell began promoting the many murders committed by Bill and Hillary Clinton; twenty-eight years after Limbaugh dramatically linked Hillary Clinton to the death of Vince Foster:

Roughly three decades after those lunacies, Fox viewers were being told that Lara Trump hadn't seen any nuclear documents as she went off the high-dive board at the Mar-a-Lago pool. Also, the IRS will be sending armed agents to take control of their money!

Beyond that, viewers could get a free preview of Tucker Carlson's documentary about the way extra-terrestrials have possibly been mutilating our cattle. This is the cultural state of affairs the Milbank book discusses in its own somewhat undisciplined way.

We refer to the cultural rot which obtains within the organs of the Republican Party itself. But also, within the various media organs devoted to spreading the party's various messages as a type of silent secession continues to gather steam.

Was Donald J. Trump actually hiding top-secret documents concerning nuclear weapons? If so, why might he have been doing such a thing?

As we type, the answer to the first question is unknown. Given the apparent psychiatric facts the mainstream press refuses to discuss, it's easy to imagine answers to the second question.

Basic facts about the possible bombshell remain unknown at this time. But as Macbeth once murdered sleep, the extraterrestrials now running Fox have mutilated journalistic norms in the manner described.

Full disclosure! If this latest arrival hadn't occurred, we would have discussed a few other events this morning. 

We would have discussed the role of the mainstream press in the intellectual meltdown which began spreading through the herd in the 1990s. We would have discussed the failure of our own blue tribe to see what was happening at that point, or to offer a peep of complaint.

We would have cited Gene Lyons' book, Fools For Scandal: How the Media Invented Whitewater. We would have cited the way the press corps booed and jeered Candidate Gore's every word as they sat in the press room during the first Democratic debate of Campaign 2000—and yes, there were three on-the-record sources concerning this astonishing conduct, Jake Tapper now being best known.

Unfortunately, what happened in the mainstream press corps stayed in the mainstream press corps, right on through the silly pursuit of Candidate Clinton's emails. The people our tribe is trained to respect didn't tell us about this, and we the blue people weren't sharp enough to notice these things on our own.

As it turns out, many humans will do and say almost anything in search of position / wealth / fame. Also, we human beings love to say whatever the last ten people just said.

These basic anthropological facts have become painfully clear. The stunningly ridiculous Kilmeade continued to nail down those learnings last night. 

Mainly, though, it all boils down to this:

Aliens have been consuming our cattle! Some who perform for the Fox News Channel have also been eating our brains!


  1. Biden's got the tax cheats on the run, and playing defense.
    I'm so glad he won the 2020 Presidential election in a landslide.

  2. Biden has the tax cheats on the run, and playing defense.
    We should thank our lucky stars he won the 2020 Presidential election in a landslide.

  3. deja vu (all over again) with the “bombshells”. It’s 2016/2022.

    “Sources” at the immaculate FBI and DoJ will now be leaking new bombshells as soon as the last one dies down.

    1. Right on, Sister Cec. Down with the establishment! Power to the people!

    2. Anonymouse 11:16am, I’m loathe to tarnish the sacred memoir of J. Edgar, but there it is.

    3. Cut the shit, Cec, you fraud. Hoover died 50 years ago, every FBI director since has been a Republican. Whine some more, please. Poor poor Donald J Chickenshit, nobody loves him, everybody hates him, why don't he eat some worms.

    4. Trump is the victim of one if his "only the best people" he named as FBI head.
      Who would have thought a guy who bankrupts companies at such a rate, might not be the best judge of character?

    5. mm, the FBI is ever wonderful. Just great public servants staying in the background.

      And when circumstances are that you have to defend them for this, because they’re were now after the right person, you do.

    6. The Right only cares about bigotry and white supremacy.
      Anything else they talk about is a red herring. This is why it's so easy to get them to contradict something they said two sentences ago.

    7. Cecelia, stop calling various anonymous commenters "mm". If someone wanted to be known as mm, they would call themselves that. To my knowledge (and yours), mm stopped commenting here a long time ago. These stupid games you keep trying to play about identities of commenters are the reason why the "anonymous" option is provided. When you try to label people, you shift the attention from the discussion of topics of interest here and make this about personalities, despite having no information about people here beyond what they choose to share. It is annoying and you need to respect civilities and stop it.

      Of course, since you are a conservative, nothing matters to you except your own interests, so I fully expect you to say the internet equivalent of "fuck your feelings" and ignore politeness in order to "own" someone, because that is all that is important to people who vote for miscreants like Trump. Go ahead, prove me wrong -- show me that you care about something beyond that...

    8. mm isn’t generic like the rest of you anonymices. She’s a character.

      She’s easily discernible because she’s both smarter and crazier than the rest of you.

    9. Sister Cec, I don't understand your point. We all know Comey was a dick - even if he did refuse to bend a knee to Donald J Chickenshit - because everyone should be treated equal under the law except for Hillary Clinton, special rules, because he knew the fever swamps would go apeshit when they finally gave up looking for a crime, just like they're doing now. Republicans know how to work the refs, I will give them that.

    10. There is no one commenting here named mm.

  4. It was interesting when a poll showed that the 1/6 committee has had zero impact whatsoever on the way people look at that event except for the small change of people being more sympathetic to Donald Trump. Which is weird because the committee is headed by a fanatical right wing anti-abortion daughter of a war criminal who took part in one of the world's most sleazy and immoral war crimes. And now all Democrats just love her to death, if you will but still the hearings have had no impact at all, in any way, they have not made any impact on anyone anywhere which seems kind of strange since the economy is doing so well for the 1% and it's so easy to get a job at an Amazon warehouse for $15 an hour for the rest of Americans.

    1. Why all the crying from Right about something that makes no difference?
      Could it be the Right are ashamed they threw a childish temper tantrum just because black peoples votes counted in the 2020 Presidential election?
      If so, what's the problem?

    2. The source for the report is Lawyers Guns and Money, the Democratic affiliated website.

    3. I haven't seen people so indifferent to anything, since that time economically anxious Republican voters, who don't have an ounce of bigotry in their body, don't ya know, reacted to Trump giving a HUGE tax break to corporations and the rich with a collective yawn.
      You'd think they'd be more upset with that, than with black peoples votes counting in the 2020 Presidential election. If you know nothing about Republican voters, that is.

    4. Watch out, The economically anxious Republican voters are furious that Biden added 87,000 IRS agents to go after rich tax cheats.

    5. 10:34,
      Biden fell for the oldest trick in the book. Believing he could win over Republican voters by responding to the things they pretend they care about.

    6. 10:34,
      Biden fell for the oldest trick in the book. Believing he could win over Republican voters by responding to the things they pretend they care about.
      He must get political advice from Bon Somerby.

    7. 10:32 that would actually speak the same apathy people have over the 1/6 committee. People know they are powerless and have no agency so why react to any part of the spectacle put forth by both sides and the elite institutions that support them?

    8. 10:40,
      Gee, I (don't at all) wonder what got Republican voters to shake off that apathy, and throw a temper tantrum at the U.S. Capitol.
      Couldn't be that black peoples votes counted in the 2020 Presidential election, because the Right-wing corporate-owned media told us Republican voters aren't at all bigots.
      "Tis a mystery.

    9. 10:48,
      There's apathy, and then there's black people sometimes being treated with equality. Let's not confuse the two.

    10. Right-wingers in the FBI want to hurt Biden on the economy, by not letting Trump sell the government's nuclear secrets to the highest bidder.

    11. When it comes to things that treat black people as equals, the Right doesn't know the word"apathy".

    12. Search Google Images for "January 6th".
      You can almost smell the apathy.

    13. Fun math facts:
      If you multiply any number with the number of temper tantrums Republican voters threw at the United States Capitol, just because black people's votes counted in 2020 Presidential election, the product is equal to the original number.

      If you multiply any number with the number of temper tantrums Republican voters threw at the United States Capitol, due to the rigged economy, the product is always zero.

    14. I guess black people aren't as concerned about it as white people like yourself are. Hence the apathy for 1/6.

      "Democratic support from Asian American, Black and Hispanic voters is much lower than it has usually been."

      Better tell them how stupid they are for the "economic and inflation concerns" that dominate their alienation from Democrats and how little concern you have for the economically anxious and what bullshit their concerns about it are.

    15. " The National Republican Congressional Committee counted 81 African American candidates running under the GOP banner in 72 congressional districts in 2022. This is more than a 50 percent increase over the 2020 election cycle."

      Good luck playing the race card and making fun of and marginalizing the issues that concern them the most. Good plan!!!

    16. "A new snap poll found that Trump's support in the 2024 Republican primary went up after the FBI search, but 58% of Americans think he committed a crime."

      That 58% figure means that Trump isn't going to be elected, even if he is nominated for 2024.

    17. Oh good. Nothing to worry about then.

    18. The idea that people who vote Republican are suddenly going to be people that understand economics is the most laughable thing you'll read on the internet today.
      QAnoners aren't even gullible enough to believe such nonsense.

    19. 11:34,
      That would seem way scarier, if the Republican Party wasn't working overtime to suppress their votes.

    20. Republicas always try to suppress votes. That's why GOTV efforts are so important.


  5. "At this point, around 8:20 P.M., the ultimate journalistic inanity—There were no documents out by the pool!—had finally hit the fan."

    Oh, dear. Yeah, sure, dear Bob: sarcasm is "the ultimate journalistic inanity".

    ...if you're a brain-dead liberal, that is...

    1. There is apparently a storage building near the pool, where some documents taken by the FBI were located.

      It may amuse Somerby to think of this as poolside reading, but espionage is a serious crime and I doubt Trump will be laughing about this at any point.

  6. "as she went off the high-dive board at the Mar-a-Lago pool."

    How does Somerby know there is a high-dive board at Mar-a-Lago? That is not typical at resorts. Or did he just make up another so-called fact in his rush to embellish?

  7. "Was Donald J. Trump actually hiding top-secret documents concerning nuclear weapons? If so, why might he have been doing such a thing?"

    Notice how Somerby juxtaposes Trump's documents with the cattle mutilations, as if both are manufactured paranormal events with mundane explanations. This is how Somerby minimizes a potential crime by our former president, and mocks the investigation, implying that the answer is as trivial and irrelevant as the answer to cattle mutiliations -- something that has been around in the tabloids since the 50s without leading to any alien invasion (except among the Q-Anoners).

    Needless to say, these are not equivalent situations. It does matter a great deal whether Trump has been providing Top Secret information to Russians or other foreign interests, and it does matter if Trump has been selling secrets for personal profit. These are the most common and usual reasons why an unauthorized person might have stolen Top Secret information, especially on nuclear subjects. So, yes, given Trump's evident willingness to break the law for personal profit, demonstrated repeatedly, this is a real, valid concern, unlike the cattle mutilation story. And no, the concerns among those on the left are not crazy, unlike the ones on the right.

    But this is how Somerby engages in bothsiderist false equivalence designed to minimize concerns on the left about national security in the face of possible treason by our former president.

    Meanwhile Somerby does not mention the subpoena for classified material which Trump ignored, nor the FACT that the FBI found and hauled boxes of material out of Mar-a-Lago, and that Trump himself complained about it. There are certainly facts at hand in this situation. Somerby prefers to ignore them, because "everyone doesn't agree" on what they are. That isn't how this works. Somerby's demand for immediate closure is ridiculous -- we all do the best we can with the most reliable sources we can identify because we do not get to wait for perfect knowledge.

    Meanwhile, isn't it obvious why Fox interviewed Lara Trump? She can say first-hand that she saw no classified documents, leaving Trump viewers the choice of believing that no one else saw them either, when they in fact do exist. Somerby's response is just as fatuous as Fox's evasion. And no, the left is not as crazy as the right, not even close. Because the left cares what Trump was hoarding at Mar-a-Lago, and even more, cares who he was showing it to. Somerby apparently does not.

  8. There are probably dozens of Republicans who care about treason against the United States of America. However, none are in Congress.

  9. Oops. Bob blows his own cover: he accidentally had on the richest and most watched cable news station, and caught a glimpse of the way things actually are.