There isn’t really much dispute as to whether or not Fox News is a devoutly right-wing network that has fully transitioned into Donald Trump’s State TV propaganda affiliate. Fox News made Trump during the 2016 election by plastering their air with his rallies and endless Trump-fluffing commentaries by adoring hosts and guests. And they’ve only gotten worse as his presidency has sunk into an abyss of hateful division, idiotic policies, and legal turmoil.
The one place you’ll find an argument about that is, of course, Fox News. They still desperately try to pretend that they are “fair and balanced” despite the obvious political prejudices that make up the vast majority of their programming. Their executives and on-air personalities go to great lengths to cover up the flagrant partisanship that is the core of their network’s mission.
Unfortunately for Fox, the primary beneficiary of that favoritism, Donald Trump, isn’t so careful. In fact, consistent with his bullheaded dumbassery, he is downright reckless in revealing the unsavory relationship between himself and his TV fixation. This was demonstrated definitively in his Tuesday morning rage-tweeting:
So weird to watch Crazy Bernie on @FoxNews. Not surprisingly, @BretBaier and the “audience” was so smiley and nice. Very strange, and now we have @donnabrazile?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 16, 2019
Let’s break down this presidential Twitter breakdown. First of all, Trump is lashing out at Fox News for even allowing Bernie Sanders to hold this town hall. He not only insults Sanders as “crazy,” but confesses that he finds it “weird” to be watching him on Fox News. Then Trump blasts Fox’s chief political anchor, Bret Baier, for being “so smiley and nice.” That implies that Trump was expecting him to be frowny and mean – like Trump himself is almost constantly. But contrary to Trump’s assessment, Baier and his co-host Martha MacCallum were frequently contentious on everything from Sanders’ income, to abortion, to taxing the rich, to immigration, and notably, to healthcare.
On the healthcare issue, Baier surveyed the studio audience to ask them “How many are willing to transition to what the Senator said – a government run system?” Note his framing in the question. Medicare for All is NOT a government run system for healthcare. It is a single payer system for health insurance. Doctors and hospitals remain independent. Nevertheless, the audience erupted into cheers of support for Sanders’ plan.
And that’s the sort of thing that triggered Trump and incited his angry tweet, which is really an attack on the audience (which he curiously put in quotes as if to suggest they were fake) and the majority of the American people (70%) who favor universal healthcare.
Raise your hand if you're sick and tired of your private health insurance company. We need Medicare for All. #BernieTownHall pic.twitter.com/3euHRCjqn9
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 15, 2019
Finally, Trump sought to take one last swipe at Fox News for hiring a former DNC official as a contributor. And he carelessly gave away his belief that Fox should be an exclusively pro-Trump, Democrat-free platform by saying “now we have @donnabrazile?” We? Trump is now openly referring to Fox News as a network that he is in partnership with. So not only is he mad that his media partner hosted Sanders, and that Baier wasn’t sufficiently nasty, but he’s calling them out for being disloyal to their shared objectives.
News Corpse is on record as being opposed to Democrats lending legitimacy to Fox News by appearing on the network. It isn’t about being afraid to face Fox’s hostility, that’s a cake walk. It’s about refusing to help them sanitizing their hateful agenda and outright lies. Sanders did a good job of representing himself and standing up to Fox’s bullying, as expected. But that doesn’t mean he should have been there in the first place. He could easily out-debate Alex Jones too, but he shouldn’t go on InfoWars either. No one should be helping them fill their coffers and spread their message. There aren’t any Democratic votes to found there. And it only results in deranged outbursts like the one Trump just unleashed.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.