In what passes for an “interview” on Fox News, the co-host of Fox and Friends, Ainsley Earhardt presided over Donald Trump doing his best impression of a Mafia boss to date (video below). His language resembled the lingo of classic movie gangsters as he delivered veiled threats, like the one where he warned that the stock market would crash if he were impeached (nice economy you have there. It sure would be a shame if something happened to it).
Earhardt never bothered to challenge Trump on any of his ludicrous assertions and lies. Fox gets away with this because they are the President’s shadow cabinet and the source for virtually all information he receives. Eventually the discussion turned to the question of whether his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, would cooperate with law enforcement officials. Trump might just as well have adopted a James Cagney accent and started snarling “You dirty rat.”
When Earhardt wasn’t staring adoringly at Trump, and tossing him the softest of balls, she sat quietly as he lectured her, and the Fox News audience of cultists, on the culture of crime family etiquette. He lauded his campaign chairman Paul Manafort for not caving in to the coppers by squealing on Trump. And he denigrated Cohen for ratting out his ex-boss and coming clean to the G-Men investigating Trump’s criminal conduct.
Trump also waxed philosophical about the art of “flipping.” He characterized it as crooks making up stories to escape severe sentences for crimes they’ve committed. In reality, it’s an agreement between suspects and law enforcement to secure cooperation in order to catch bigger crooks. Lying under these circumstance is rare because it would result in the deal being voided and the suspect receiving an even harsher sentence than was originally anticipated. Trump said that this common and useful practice “ought to be illegal.” But he also said that he’s very familiar with it:
“I know all about flipping. For 30-40 years I’ve been watching flippers. […] I’ve seen it many times. I’ve got many friends involved in this stuff. It’s called ‘flipping’ and it almost ought to be illegal.”
That’s an extraordinary comment. In essence Trump is bragging that many of his friends are criminals who have been entangled in police investigations. He doesn’t say whether they were the flippers or the targets of the flipping. But either way they were involved in illegal activities as kingpins or cohorts with information to trade. And isn’t difficult to believe that Trump had these kinds of disreputable friends considering the bad character of Trump’s associates in his campaign and his presidency. In fact, anything other than a confederacy of crooks would seem totally out of character for this president.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
Trump: I know all about flipping. It should almost be illegal. pic.twitter.com/jCZhwN7XxP
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) August 23, 2018