It must be extraordinarily difficult for the President of the United States to get through every weekend without being fawned over by his most devoted supporters and promoters: the weekday primetime hosts on Fox News (aka State TV). Donald Trump’s notoriously fragile ego needs constant stroking or it erupts in an explosion of nonsensical ravings and unbound hostility from his Twitter stronghold.
That’s the sensitive psychological condition that Trump found himself in on Sunday night when he unleashed a torrent of tweets bursting with self pity and anger at an unfair world that wasn’t sufficiently adoring. This hissy twit included an unexpected barrage of animus aimed squarely at Trump’s media confederates at Fox News. It’s not the first time, but it’s one of the most extended and shrill. And it’s a warning to Fox that if you dare to stray from Trumpian orthodoxy, you are officially guilty of betraying the cause of white-wing nationalism, and Trump personally. It’s Trump’s admission that he regards Fox News as his personal publicity shop. The substance of this tweetstorm is so profoundly disturbing that we can just let it speak for itself.
Watching @FoxNews weekend anchors is worse than watching low ratings Fake News @CNN, or Lyin’ Brian Williams (remember when he totally fabricated a War Story trying to make himself into a hero, & got fired. A very dishonest journalist!) and the crew of degenerate……
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 7, 2019
…a “source” of information (ask the Times what they paid for the Boston Globe, & what they sold it for (lost 1.5 Billion Dollars), or their old headquarters building disaster, or their unfunded liability? @FoxNews is changing fast, but they forgot the people who got them there!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 7, 2019
….their lowest rated show. Watch the @FoxNews weekend daytime anchors, who are terrible, go after her big time. That’s what they want – but it sure is not what the audience wants!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 8, 2019
Poor Trump is suffering the brutal symptoms of withdrawal due to the lack of his weekday Trump-fluffers: Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. Apparently Jeanine Pirro and Mark Levin aren’t sufficient to get him through these lonely weekends. But does he have to be so cruel as to call the Fox weekenders worse than CNN? That’s a low blow coming from Trump.
Deprived of his State TV babysitters, Trump whines about the brass at Comcast. He’s referring to Chairman and CEO of Comcast Brian Roberts and NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke. And he apparently believes that they tell everyone on NBC what to say. That must be because that’s the way the propaganda machine at Fox News operates, so he thinks real news organizations do the same.
He also unloads on what he says was a boring Democratic primary debate. Never mind that it was the most watched Democratic debate in history and drew more viewers on the second night than the first, which is not generally an indicator that the viewers were bored. Then Trump takes an odd, leftfield swipe at the New York Times because, well, what anti-media Trump rant would be complete without it?
Next, Trump takes aim directly at Fox News again, this time accusing them of having “forgot the people who got them there!” As if the network is obligated to behave in the manner that Trump demands or it’s being disloyal. That sentiment is extended with Trump’s complaint that Fox hired Donna Brazile, a former Democratic Party official. He lies about her having given Hillary Clinton debate questions during the 2016 Democratic primary. In fact, Brazile never had any actual debate questions. She only gave Clinton a list of topics and questions that she assumed would be covered. That’s still improper for a CNN contributor who was supposed to be unaffiliated, but it isn’t the same as stealing actual questions and handing them over to a candidate. Ironically, that’s an accusation that was levelled at Fox News for tipping off Trump before a GOP debate.
Finally, Trump insults all of the dayside Fox anchors as “terrible” and takes a swing at Fox’s chief news anchor and managing editor of breaking news, Shepard Smith. Considering how often Smith debunks Trump’s lies, that isn’t surprising. Take, for instance, this brutal fact check on Trump’s lies about Russian collusion. But then he closes this manic episode by proclaiming that he knows what the Fox News audience wants and that Fox is failing in its duty to be a staunchly partisan right-wing mouthpiece by not bending obediently to the bias that Trump thinks is required of them.
It’s difficult to be certain exactly what triggered this meltdown, but it doesn’t take much to set Trump off these days. He is becoming more frightened and unstable with each new poll that shows him losing in 2020, and each new revelation of his rampant criminal activity, including the arrest of his pal Jeffrey Epstein for sex trafficking.
However, there was an entertaining bit of “news” made on Fox Sunday when reporter Greg Palkot was covering reaction to the U.S. winning the World Cup. He was live from a sports bar in Lyon, France when the crowd began chanting “F*** Trump.” Then Palkot interviewed an American patron who cheered the U.S. team’s victory and then proudly exclaimed “Now we need to win in 2020, Democrats. Get that racist out of the White House.” That’s surely something that would gnaw at Trump if he saw it. But it warms the hearts of every truly patriotic American who can’t wait for Trump to booted from office whether by losing an election or well deserved impeachment.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.