On Thursday afternoon, Donald Trump held another of his phony press conferences that are really reelection campaign events illegally held in the White House. But this one was even more brazenly self-serving than those in the past, which were almost entirely self-serving.
As usual, Trump spent the first half hour bragging about accomplishments that didn’t exist. In his fantasy brain the economy is soaring (it’s in recession) and there is no pandemic (it’s still killing more than a thousand Americans every day).
Trump finished his fictional storytime reading and turned to the reporters to take questions. He only took two before he scurried off with his tail between his legs. The first question was about his deadly deception revealed in Bob Woodward’s new book, RAGE! ABC’s Jonathan Karl asked “Why did you lie to the American people, and why should we trust what you have to say now?” Trump replied “That’s a terrible question and the phraseology. I didn’t lie. What I said is we have to be calm. We can’t be panicked.”
But of course, he did very obviously lie. And it had nothing to do with avoiding panic. If a hurricane was coming you wouldn’t call it a Democratic hoax and insist that it would disappear like a miracle. You would alert the public and advise them to take all necessary precautions. That’s what Trump actually did prior to Hurricane Dorian) I guess he didn’t care about creating a panic then.
Trump went on to say that his confession that he lied was excusable because the person he confessed to didn’t report it quickly enough. Which is a rather bizarre justification for lying. And it doesn’t even dispute that it was a lie. He then took the second question was about the Durham report, a politically stained probe triggered by Trump’s hostility toward his predecessor, Barack Obama, and orchestrated by Trump’s flunky Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr.
In the course of Trump’s ranting falsely about how he was spied on by the Obama administration, he attempted to back up his allegations by citing his favorite source for classified intelligence, Fox News (video below):
“Probably the biggest political scandal in the history of our country. They got caught. Now, what the Durham report is going to say, I can’t tell you. But if they say half as much as I already know, just from seeing it.”
First of all, Trump’s own intelligence agencies, as well as the Republican-run Senate, have confirmed that there was no scandal, no spying on his campaign. Secondly, What the heck does he already know from “seeing” the Durham report, which would be an extraordinary breach of ethics for him to have seen? But he wasn’t finished:
“You know I watch some of the shows, I watched [Fox’s] Elizabeth McDonald, she’s fantastic. I watched Fox Business. I watched Lou Dobbs last night. Sean Hannity last night. Tucker [Carlson] last night. Laura [Ingraham]. I watched Fox and Friends in the morning. You watch these shows, you don’t have to go too far into the details. They cover things that are…it’s really an amazing thing.”
So every single one of the shows that Trump watched were Fox News shows. He spent at least four hours on these notoriously right-wing disseminators of Trump-fluffing propaganda. He has the world’s most extensive network of international intelligence operations reporting to him, but he’s parked in front of the television gulping down Kool-Aid from Hannity and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes. And he’s doing that instead of – you know – actually working. Which may be a good thing.
What’s more, Trump concedes that “you don’t have to go too far into the details,” mainly because the details wouldn’t hold up to scrutiny if you went any farther than scratching the surface. Everything these Trump cult shills promote on their State TV broadcasts is coordinated with, and complimentary to, Trump’s official PR playbook.
There isn’t any breakthrough revelation in the discovery that Trump is addicted to Fox News and vice versa. What’s notable is that he has gotten so mentally lazy that he would make a public statement that is so blatantly aligned with his Ministry of Disinformation. He didn’t even bother to slip in a few names from OANN, Breitbart, or any of the other irrelevant Internet clown shows Trump likes to patronize.
This was all Fox News. An exclusive promo for the network that made him what he is today. And never mind that he has frequently attacked Fox News when they weren’t sufficiently worshipful. He always comes back because there is no one more loyal, more willingly deceitful, and more successful at corralling the Trumpian hoards who are starving for ever more news about Dear Leader. Their relationship may be rocky at times, but it is still strong – and dangerous.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
We've reached the portion of the presser where Trump names his favorite Fox News hosts and shows. pic.twitter.com/GEhjRLvEwQ
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) September 10, 2020