The current press attention being placed on subjects like the NFL was created entirely by Donald Trump during his routine morning Tweetstorm. Not that systemic racism isn’t an important issue. But Trump’s framing of it is utterly dishonest. He’s trying to turn it into a debate over patriotism and flag worship.
What’s interesting about this attempt at media manipulation is that it’s failing in big way. And it isn’t just the usual suspects in the liberal section who are criticizing Trump. The chief political anchor on Fox News, Bret Baier, is now among those who can no longer ignore Trump’s obvious efforts to deflect from his own scandals. Baier was interviewed by his colleague Jon Scott on Monday (video below):
Jon Scott: It’s kind of interesting to me Bret because the controversy over Colin Kaepernick taking a knee – that’s kind of where this all started – pretty well died down. And then the President found a way to dredge it up in his speech on Friday. I guess the question is why?
Bret Baier: Well, that is a good question. I think there were six kneeling protests before Friday. The speech Friday and the tweets that followed, there were 200+ as you just heard from John Roberts. […] I think that the president clearly has stirred this up, and it is an emotional discussion. What we are not discussing is that he may likely lose in the senate primary in Alabama. Looks like it is an uphill battle for Luther Strange there. We will see. We’re not talking talking about the fact that the health care repeal and replace bill is probably on life support in the senate. And we are not talking about the troubles that North Korea is just in the past hour putting out there. So, it is an interesting dichotomy to be talking about all this that has been stirred up in the past three days.
Indeed. Trump’s attempts to divert the press and the public from more serious concerns is so clumsy that even Fox News is reporting it. And they left out another matter that Trump is likely trying to suppress. That’s the ongoing investigation of Russia’s involvement with him and his campaign. Scott went further to note that “even some of his most ardent supporters disagree with him on this one.” Baier concurred and noted that Trump’s profane language, calling sports figures “S.O.B.s,” crossed a line with his supporters. But he also praised Trump as the “ultimate marketer” due to his use of that kind of rhetoric. Baier and Scott summed it up saying that:
Baier: Sometimes the motivation behind it, why he’s doing that, is in question. And I think that it has created this divisive moment where it’s definitely a conversation around kitchen tables around America. And at water coolers and coffee shops. But does it come to a resolution? We’ll see.
Scott: It does distract from the GOP efforts to try to replace ObamaCare. As you said earlier.
Baier and Scott were not the only ones at Fox News who noticed Trump’s diversionary tactics. Anchor Shepard Smith called out Trump’s reframing as “they’re attacking the national anthem, they’re attacking the troops, they’re attacking the flag. None of which they’re doing.” Smith speculated that this was all a call to Trump’s base “so that they don’t notice there is no health care and Korea is the biggest mess since the Cold War.” And he acknowledged the role of the press by admitting that “We’re complicit.” All of this is certain to result in a predictable future event: Another Trump Tweetstorm.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.