Barack Obama has now been out of office for sixteen months. But that hasn’t stopped Donald Trump from obsessing over him and making poorly constructed comparisons that only reveal his insecurity and jealousy. Naturally, Fox News is right there to stroke Trump’s fragile ego with positive affirmations and ludicrous conspiracy theories.
On Saturday Trump’s favorite TV show, Fox and Friends, interviewed radical Chrisianist Mike Huckabee, whose daughter is the President’s press secretary. In the course of this segment Fox News reported comments made by Obama in jest at a recent tech conference. Obama said of his presidency that:
“There wasn’t any malicious intent, which is why I didn’t have scandals, which seems like it shouldn’t be something you brag about. But actually, if you look at the history of the modern presidency, coming out of the modern presidency without anybody going to jail is really good. It’s a big deal.”
Indeed. While it can hardly be claimed that the Obama years were free of error, there were precisely zero indictments or convictions of people associated with his administration in eight years. Obviously the same cannot be said of Trump in only a little over one year. But this unarguable fact became the subject of ridicule by Huckabee and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes on Fox (video below). When asked to comment, Huckabee said of Obama that:
“There were a lot of scandals. The difference was there wasn’t a scrutiny. And you can’t have the kind of scandals that you normally see in Washington if you don’t have a press corps that is doing their job of being a watchdog. In the case of the Obama administration, the press wasn’t a watchdog, they were a lap dog. […] A White House press briefing was a tongue bath.”
That analysis might require an extended pause for laughter. This is an ultra right-wing Obama hater complaining to America’s premiere Trump-fluffers that the press wasn’t tough enough on Obama. All that these Fox and Friends hacks do every day is slobber over Trump with their tongues hanging out and their tails wagging. It would be like Hannibal Lecter taking a waiter to task after finding a hair in his soup. (For the 1990’s pop culture challenged – the dude eats people).
Huckabee sought to debunk the truthful characterization of Obama’s presidency as scandal-free by rattling off what he claimed were bona fide scandals. They included:
- The delivery of “palettes of cash” to Iran in conjunction with their agreement to scale back their nuclear weapons program.
That was actually the return of funds that belonged to Iran that had been sequestered while sanctions were in place.
- The murders of American diplomats in Benghazi.
After years of congressional investigations and hearings, run by Republicans, it was determined that there was no wrongdoing on the part of anyone in the Obama administration.
- Allegations that the IRS discriminated against conservative charitable organizations.
This was debunked when it turned out that they didn’t treat conservatives any differently than they treated liberals. Not one conservative charity was denied its tax exempt status.
- The so-called Fast and Furious gun running operation.
This was actually a project that began in the Bush administration.
So giving it their best effort, Huckabee and Fox News were unable to cite a single verifiable scandal that occurred under Obama’s watch. And it wasn’t like Obama had the sort of friendly Congress that Trump has today. Republicans were in charge throughout most of his term. But they still failed to find sufficient evidence to indict or convict anyone from the Obama White House. Contrast that with the dozens of indictments that special counsel Robert Mueller has already obtained, along with five guilty pleas. And to be sure, there are more to come.
The spectacle of Huckabee appearing on State TV (aka Fox News) and trying to make the case that Obama got a free ride is just plain hysterical. If he had said it on any other network it might have been slightly less ridiculous. But saying that the media was overly deferential to Obama on a network that is so flagrantly pro-Trump is the reason that political satire is so hard to do these days. The skewed reality of Fox News and people like Huckabee are just way to funny for comedians to compete with.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
Former Pres. Obama jokes he didn’t have scandals during his time in office. @GovMikeHuckabee fires back: “There were a lot of scandals, but the difference was there wasn’t scrutiny…the press wasn’t a watchdog. They were a lapdog.” pic.twitter.com/F2r7lgMwWa
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) May 26, 2018