It’s day seven of the Trump Shutdown, and Fox News is determined to hold Trump’s feet to the fire. Not for his responsibility for creating this havoc and hurting hundreds of thousands of Americans. But to insure that he doesn’t bend on the radical principles that Fox News holds dear.
On Friday morning Fox and Friends interviewed Trump’s Acting (one of many) Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney (video below). For the most part it was a friendly get together among like-minded Trump shills. However, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes were fired up over the possibility that the President might commit the unforgivable crime of compromising with Democrats in Congress.
Mulvaney tried repeatedly to characterize the Democrats as having “left Washington” to avoid the debate on Trump’s idiotic and useless vanity wall. But this Congress is still run by Republicans. They control whether the Congress stays in session or not. And it is Republicans who made the decision to stop working until next year. Democrats had no say in the matter.
Yet Mulvaney still accused Nancy Pelosi of orchestrating the shutdown and leaving town because she doesn’t want to appear weak. That’s a classic case of projection when it’s Trump who is transparently afraid of looking weak in the eyes of Fox News. Both houses of Congress had previously agreed on funding bills to keep the government of open. But then Trump was triggered by Fox News reports that he was breaking his promise to build a wall. And even though he also promised that Mexico would pay for it, he still felt it necessary to punish American taxpayers by shutting down the government.
What stood out in the interview was the ferocity of the Foxies in pushing Mulvaney to take ever more extreme positions on the wall and the shutdown created to force it down the nation’s throat. Here are the questions that Mulvaney was hectored with by the Fox crew::
Pete Hegseth: He says he’ll close it all down because of these ridiculous immigration laws. Is he willing to go that far?
Mulvaney replied that Trump is willing to go all the way. We’ll see. But it was predictable that the first question was so full of anti-immigrant bias.
Hegseth: It was $25 billion dollars was possibly on the table. Now it’s five […] Mr. Mulvaney, a lot of Trump supporters feel like five is already a compromise, $5 billion. So to now float out there $2.5, $2.7, wouldn’t that look like a cave on this key issue.
Mulvaney surprisingly admitted that the $25 billion figure was “smoke and mirrors.” And the only real “cave” here is Trump to Fox News.
Griff Jenkins: Hold on. The American people wanted a wall. What deal then now is President Trump willing to accept that is anything short of that wall?
According to Mulvaney, nothing. “That’s why the government is closed.” As for what the American people want, a new poll by Reuters/Ipsos shows that only thirty-five percent said they backed including money for the wall in a congressional spending bill. And only twenty-five percent said they supported Trump shutting down the government for it.
Rachel Campos-Duffy: But let me ask this. We’re talking about money – $5 billion, $1.5 billion, $2.7 billion. Why isn’t there other things on the table? DACA for example. Is that being negotiated?
Mulvaney said that it is, but there’s no evidence of that from the White House. Plus it would be atrocious for Trump to exploit DACA applicants as bargaining chips for a wall nobody wants (even though he’s done that before).
Hegseth: Mr. Director, Nancy Pelosi calls the wall immoral ineffective, and expensive. We know it’s effective. We know $5 billion is not expensive in Washington dollars. In taxpayer real dollars we know it is. But the morality of it. Tell that to the family of Corporal Singh. Tell that to the family of Kate Steinle. The moral thing to do is to keep it shut down until you get a wall. Trump supporters are going to expect that. How attuned are you to the reality that a compromise that makes it look like Republicans are cavin’ again – Here we go. Democrats always … No. That is a real thing that has to be factored in.
Mulvaney insists that “We’re not compromising.” But this question was loaded with bigotry and lies. There are no credible experts that believe the wall would be effective. Most undocumented immigrants came legally through border checkpoints. And by raising the Singh and Steinle issues, Hegseth is once again implying that all immigrants are potentially murderers. The facts show that immigrants commit crimes a lower rates than American-born citizens. So Hegseth shouldn’t be talking about “the moral thing to do,” especially since he opposes all reasonable gun reforms to prevent the massacres of American citizens by American citizens.
Hegseth: The President’s floated the nuclear option. Is that a possibility in the Senate?
“I wish all options were open,” said Mulvaney. But even Mitch McConnell has ruled this out.
Campos-Duffy: If he’s there, why doesn’t he do an Oval Office address? […] Why isn’t he using all the tools at his disposal?
On this Mulvaney fired back saying that Trump knows what he’s doing, and how to do it, better than they do. Because Dear Leader is infallible and only wants to protect his weak and frightened children.
And that’s what passes for a fair and balanced interview on Fox News. The program’s hosts badger their guest with opinionated viewpoints aimed at pushing him toward their radical perspectives. And the guest complies with answers that feed right into the craziness of their right-wing agenda. But in the end none of this matters because Trump will only tweet something that contradicts them and himself and makes no sense. And his glassy-eyed cult followers will lap it up like gruel and be grateful for whatever morsels he tosses to them.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
"Some folks use the terms wall, they mean different things…everyone agrees that what we can and should be building on that southern border is that steel barrier that the president tweeted out." https://t.co/7WwI4gVsab
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) December 28, 2018