Whenever a public figure like a president dies the media brings out their pre-written obituaries and biographies. It becomes a multi-day marathon of tributes and remembrances that focus on the most positive aspects of the dearly departed. And these past past few days since the passing of President George H.W. Bush has been no exception.
What is exceptional, however, is the capacity for Fox News, and their stable of right-wing shills, to turn the whole thing into a political circus. And they valiantly manage to do it in the most brazenly asinine way possible. The coverage on Fox has taken a well-coordinated turn to spin any positive messaging about Bush as a calculated attack on Donald Trump. No, really. Here is the host of Fox’s MediaBuzz, Howard Kurtz, on how the press is weaponizing tributes to Bush (video below):
“There has been just a remarkable media outpouring of gratitude and affection and celebration since the passing of President George Herbert Walker Bush. But what’s really striking now are the tributes, because there’s just a lot of national affection for a guy who was such a gentleman, and sort of engaged in civility, and could debate his opponents without demonizing them, and often worked with Democrats.”
Kurtz went on to highlight what he perceives as “the contrast between all of the hoopla now” and the way Bush was covered at the time. Then he itemized some of Bush’s most notable missteps and failures, including the blatantly racist, “Willie Horton” ad (produced by a protege of Roger Ailes, who later founded Fox News), and his infamous broken promise of “no new taxes.” All of this was leading up to his premise that the complimentary coverage Bush in death is a deliberate attack on Donald Trump:
“Many of the journalists and pundits who don’t like this president have decided to use the passing of a previous president as a way to bash Trump. […] Very much in contrast to the way he was covered in the 1980’s and 1990’s. And very much used as a kind of a weapon against President Trump.”
Kurtz isn’t the only Fox News Trump-fluffer to make this connection between flattering Bush and insulting Trump. Sean Hannity did a whole segment on his Monday night program wherein he ranted that “They’ll try and bludgeon you when your alive, and now that you’re no longer a political threat oh, you were the greatest person that ever lived.” And Laura Ingraham weighed in on the same subject saying “Sadly though, with the death of George H.W. Bush, some in the media, and politicians from both parties, are abusing this moment to trash instead the sitting president.”
The main problem with these analyses is that they actually point to a big problem that is inherent to Trump’s malignant personality disorders. By praising anyone else for their civility, genteelness, character, unselfishness, and respect for others, you are by definition criticizing Trump’s lack of any of these traits. Just by saying that Bush often demonstrated kindness or concern, you’re making an inescapable comparison to the narcissistic blowhard currently occupying the Oval Office.
Furthermore, these Trump supplicants on Fox News seem to think that there’s something wrong if coverage of a deceased president is different, more complimentary, than the coverage they received when they were still on their government jobs. That’s absurd to the point of nonsense. Political leaders are subject to being critiqued while serving. They face good and bad press in response to their performance and behavior. They are not supposed to be lionized while in office as saintly figures upon whom only praise is lavished. And while that may be the way that Fox News always treats Trump, that doesn’t make it right, or ethical, or sane.
Bush had some successes as president. He signed the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Clean Air Act. But he had his share of failures too. And if the press lays off for a few days after his passing, that’s to be expected. But complimenting him on matters of character that Trump is so sorely lacking isn’t an example of the press bashing Trump. It’s Trump’s fault for being such an unambiguous asshole that any discussion about someone who isn’t reflects badly on him. If he doesn’t like it he could try to stop being such a self-absorbed jackass. But it’s probably too late for that.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
4 thoughts on “Fox News Hacks Say Media Coverage Honoring Bush is a ‘Weapon Against Trump’”
Well, let’s hope Faux News is right, so the Trumpet’s supporters and base will come to their senses,and abandon him…
Once again, it’s the double standards that is so disturbing. It appears that the Trump Worshipers are treating HW with the respect he deserves, and most seem to be avoiding mentioning the elephant in the room that HW simply did not like Trump. Nevertheless, out of the courtesy Trump will never have, ensured that Trump would attend his funeral, even though the family refused to allow him to attend Barbara’s.
But when Arlen Spector died, he was judged by the FoxPods and ReThugs not as a man whose public service stretched back over 30 years, but as a “not-Republican.” Which, of course, made him The Enemy, and so we got these nasty, almost criminal, comments on social media. They said things like, “Thank God, the bast@rd’s dead!” “Go to hell, Traitor!” and worse. Not ONE showed any respect to Spector at all.
I have no doubt that, if Bill Clinton were to drop dead tomorrow, every FucksPod and Trump worshiper would be giving him the same treatment and considering anyone asking for respect for the dead to be a traitor who should be shot. They would all be remembering his impeachment and every crime they ever accused him of. For one brief “shining” moment, they will forget that Obama is the cause of all evil in the TrumpBot world — and accuse Clinton of being that cause of evil.
And if Trump died tomorrow, the demand that everyone respect and worship him (and calls for outright murder for anyone that doesn’t) would be deafening.
I may not have the highest respect for HW — or the Bush family in general — but HW deserves the respect any person should receive when they die. But the Trump Worshipers choose who deserves that respect, and whomever they call The Enemy at that half second never will.
Again, if it wasn’t for double standards, the Trump Worshipers would have no standards at all.
The victimhood certainly has reached astronomic levels if they are trying to spin the media portrayal of Bush Sr’s passing as “an attack on Trump”.
The worst part is that this spin doesn’t even remotely make sense. “They’ll try and bludgeon you when your alive, and now that you’re no longer a political threat oh, you were the greatest person that ever lived.” said Hannity, yet such a reaction is not at all surprising or unfounded. There’s an unspoken rule in decency that you do not speak ill of the dead regardless of who they were to you when they were alive, and the polite thing to do would be to speak kindly of them. This isn’t something unusual or surprising, it’s been a standard anywhere for ages. It may seem somewhat hypocritical true, but hey, it’s still the decent thing to do.
Which probably explains why Hannity and company are not getting it and believe their audience don’t either. Because they are the sort of people who would attack the dead, make fun of them, slander them and blame them for stuff since they can no longer defend themselves. We saw that with the Parkland victims, we saw that with John McCain, it’s a tradition on their end, not an exception.
And this is why they are saying the things they just did about Bush Sr’s passing. Anything is fair game with dead people, even using them in political spin, and that’s not even teh worst they’ve done with the dead either.
I think they have a point. Any time anyone steals the limelight from Trump is a conspirasy.
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