The news this morning that up to six Americans incarcerated in Iran have been released ought to be met with gladness and relief. These people have suffered for more than a year as prisoners convicted of dubious crimes. Today their families got the news they have been hoping for and are gathering to celebrate freedom.
Sadly, that celebration is not being shared by Fox News or the Republican candidates for president. Their lock-step determination to find fault with President Obama no matter the circumstances takes precedence over actual events or the national interest of the country. These “patriots” will never miss an opportunity to run down America or make it look bad in the eyes of the world.
So despite the fact that Fox News has been using the Iranian prisoners for months to accuse President Obama of weakness, they are now framing the release as a hostage swap that benefits the Iranians. Fox reporter Catherine Herridge described it as “short-term elation, but long-term pain.” Fox contributor John Bolton called it “a diplomatic debacle for the United States.” In reality, it’s just another example of the Fox News lose/lose approach to reporting on the President. If he were to cure cancer they would complain that it was a socialist attack on pharmaceutical companies that cost hard-working oncologists their jobs.
And the circus of GOP aspiring presidential clowns could not rush to a microphone quickly enough to criticize the freedom arranged by the Obama administration. From their reactions you might have thought that the news was reporting that Americans were captured rather than freed.
Ted Cruz: We don’t know the details of the deal that is bringing them home. And then it may well be that there are some very problematic aspects to this deal.
Marco Rubio: We should not be involved in swaps. These things should never happen is my point. […] I think this has created incentives for more governments to do this around the world.
Donald Trump: I will tell you, it’s a disgrace that they’ve been there for so long. It’s a disgrace. Remember that. A total disgrace.
Mike Huckabee: They should’ve been released before we ever sat down at the negotiating table.
Chris Christie: We shouldn’t have to swap prisoners, these folks were taken illegally in violation of international law and they should have been released without condition.
Jeb Bush: I would say … if you do not release them, that there’s going to be military action, that that’s an act of provocation, an act of war.
Clearly these folks would have preferred a full-on war with Iran rather than diplomacy. They would have opted to send more Americans to fight and die in a Middle East quagmire. And the fact that the Obama administration successfully negotiated the freedom of our Americans in Iran is greeted with rancor instead of praise. It was the same reaction they had to the sailors who were held briefly after drifting into Iranian waters. The right-wingers considered it an act of war and were rattling their swords in hysterics. Obama resolved the matter with a phone call and the sailors went on their way in few hours. Just imagine if one of those cretins were actually president during these incidents.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
At the very least the Fox News/GOP knee-jerks could have joined the families this weekend to appreciate their long-awaited reunion with loved ones, and returned to their partisan vitriol on Monday. But that’s not how Republicans, or Fox News work.