Some of the best moments on Fox News occur when they have no idea what they are talking about. This happens with some frequency considering the low bar that Fox sets for hiring pundits and commentators. The prerequisites for a job at Fox News are primarily the willingness to lie effusively on behalf of Donald Trump and his Republican Nationalist Party, and blond hair.
On Monday morning’s episode of Outnumbered there was a perfect example of this tendency that Fox has to stumble onto something truthful without ever knowing they did so. The program had a segment on the just announced candidacy of radio host and, former Tea Party Republican, Joe Walsh, for the GOP nomination for president. He’s a longshot challenger to Trump, but his conservative credentials and passionate denouncements of Trump could take a toll on the embattled and mentally infirm incumbent. While discussing Walsh’s prospects in the race, Fox host Shannon Bream sought to itemize his weaknesses by revisiting some his previous abhorrent statements (video below):
“This is what Joe Walsh said: ‘Obama’s a Muslim. He’s an enemy and a traitor.’ He said this about Kamala Harris: ‘If you’re black and a woman you say dumb things, lowered bar.’ He also got duped by Sacha Baron Cohen about arming toddlers and kindergartners with guns. […] I think critics might say it’s astonishing that he even thinks he can run right now.”
Okay, then. That’s now the Fox News criteria for establishing when someone is unfit to run for president, There were four standards laid out: Calling Obama a Muslim, calling Obama an enemy, saying black women are stupid, and getting punked by a hoaxster. Let’s see how Trump stands up.
In March of 2011, Trump was interviewed on the Laura Ingraham radio show prior to her joining Fox News. Among Trump’s noxious remarks was praise for the racists who insisted that President Obama was not an American. “A lot of the so-called Birthers,” Trump said, “these are great people. These are really great American people.” Much like the “very fine” Nazis Trump gushed over a few years later. He went on to say of Obama that…
“He doesn’t have a birth certificate, or if he does, there’s something on that certificate that is very bad for him […] perhaps it would be that where it says ‘religion,’ it might have ‘Muslim.’ And if you’re a Muslim, you don’t change your religion.”
One down. Moving on, there is always a Trump tweet that manages to demonstrate his utter idiocy and/or hypocrisy. And in this matter there’s one where he literally posted a comment that said: “Obama is our worst enemy.”
Two down. Moving on, Trump is a well-known misogynist who’s past is replete with harassment, assault, and ceaseless bullying and insults. But specific to the standard set above, he has been especially demeaning to women of color in Congress and the media. His remarks about sending several congresswomen “back where they came from” was only the most recent incident. On many occasions he blatantly attacked African-American reporters for doing their job. For instance, he shouted down Abby Phillip of CNN saying “What a stupid question that is. What a stupid question. But I watch you a lot. You ask a lot of stupid questions.”
Three down. Moving on, Trump was also the victim of a prank call. Comedian “Stuttering” John Melendez (of Howard Stern’s radio show) got through to Trump on Air Force One by pretending to be New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez. The call was directed to Trump by his son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner.
So that’s all four of the criteria enumerated by Bream that make it “astonishing that he even thinks he can run right now.” Of course there are innumerable other reasons that Trump’s campaign is astonishing. They include his brazen violations of the law by welcoming and encouraging Russia’s attack on our election; his obstruction of justice; his breach of the Constitution’s emoluments clause; his overt racism and support for white nationalists; his coziness with brutal foreign tyrants; and his 12,000+ lies to the American people.
And that’s just for starters. Trump has disparaged American intelligence agencies. He has sided with Vladimir Putin against the U.S. His economic idiocy (tax cuts for the wealthy, benefit cuts for Social Security and Medicare, trade war, bullying the Fed, etc.) will likely lead to a severe recession. So it will be interesting to see if Fox News will hold Trump to the same standards they laid out for Walsh. Or even if they will hold him to the principles that the GOP used to advocate. Don’t hold your breath.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.