On Friday Morning Fox News aired an episode of Donald Trump’s favorite TV show, “Fox and Friends,” that was chock full of the sycophantic silliness that has become the hallmark of the program. They featured segments about a Republican congressional candidate who is predicting a “red” wave in California; an interview with pundi-clowns Diamond & Silk; and a piece blasting Democrats for actually holding CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel accountable for her record.
In addition to those hard hitting examples of “real” journalism, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes also discussed a news story with profound foreign policy significance. It concerned the reported capture of five top members of ISIS. This military success was important enough to have warranted a tweet from Trump on Thursday. However, the point that co-host Pete Hegseth was most eager to make was that the “failing” New York Times ignored the story, presumably because it might reflect positively on Trump.
There’s just one problem with that. It was the New York Times who broke the story on Wednesday and was the first news outlet in the U.S. to report it. Consequently, that’s likely where Trump and Fox picked up the news and repackaged it for their audiences. But that didn’t stop Hegseth from flipping through the pages of today’s Times (video below), vainly looking for the story they published two days ago, and whining:
“I looked for the ‘five ISIS leaders captured’ in the failing New York Times, and in the print edition today, I have not seen it yet.”
Try looking in Wednesday’s paper, Einstein. It’s cute that Hegseth uses Trump’s infantile nickname for the Times, proving that the President and the network are joined in a State-TV operation that would make Vladimir Putin jealous. And never mind the fact that the Times is pulling in record profits. The purpose of Trump’s insults is not to convey any accurate information, but to baselessly malign journalists who dare to tell the truth about him. Just like he did last month when he tweeted:
The Failing New York Times purposely wrote a false story stating that I am unhappy with my legal team on the Russia case and am going to add another lawyer to help out. Wrong. I am VERY happy with my lawyers, John Dowd, Ty Cobb and Jay Sekulow. They are doing a great job and…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 11, 2018
Since then, Trump did add two more lawyers (Rudy Giuliani and Emmett Flood) and parted with both John Down and Ty Cobb. So the Times, as usual was right. But Trump never bothered to correct his misstatement. Nor has Fox News corrected the lie about their ISIS story. This is typical of the way Fox News operates and should be expected to continue. They are as much a disreputable stain on journalism as Trump is on government.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.