The Fox News coverage of the Senate impeachment hearing has been just as bad as might have been expected. Even worse, actually. To be sure, their prime time Trump-fluffers have been predictably adoring and servile as they heap praise on Donald Trump and his defenders, while shoveling bile on his critics. Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends, have spared no shame in slobbering over Dear Leader while slandering the Democrats prosecuting him.
The reason it’s been even worse than expected is that Fox News has ignored large swaths of the hearings. They chose to air their regularly scheduled programming rather than the live proceedings from the Senate. That way they can prevent their already ill-informed audience from accidentally being exposed to the truth about Trump.
Fox even advised their dimwitted viewers to avoid watching the hearings with admonitions like “We’re showing you the good stuff – it was unbelievably boring,” and “I don’t know how people can follow it,” and “We watched so that you don’t have to,” and “It is a little bit like watching paint dry,” and “If I were a terrible host I would force you to endure watching.” Fox News is behaving like parents shielding their children from naughty words. Which may explain why Fox viewers behave so much like children.
So while CNN and MSNBC were airing the hearings in prime time, Fox News was airing their squawking heads attacking responsible journalism, disparaging the Democratic managers, and insisting that Trump was as pure and virginal as Mother Mary. It’s a bizarre spectacle to see people in the media advocating against being fully informed and proactively disinforming them. But then, that’s what Fox News does every day.
Consequently, Fox’s viewers got their customary mush of one-sided blather. And their number one viewer, Donald Trump, will be spared the agonizing torture of encountering anything remotely negative – or truthful – about him.
Contributing to this extreme bias is the mystery disappearance of Fox’s Senior Judicial Analyst, Andrew Napolitano. He has not made a single appearance on the network during the most prominent judicial story of the decade. Instead, Fox has exclusively featured such pro-Trump commentators as Trey Gowdy and Andrew McCarthy. Napolitano has previously provided a far more cogent analysis with clear-eyed recognition of Trump’s guilt (for instance, here and here and here).
Had Napolitano been booked to give his impression of the impeachment hearings, he might have sparked some severe cognitive injuries. Particularly for Trump. Napolitano was permitted to publish an op-ed on the Fox News website that presented a starkly different viewpoint than anyone that Fox allowed on the air. He wrote that the impeachment trial…
“…is not a charade or a joke or a hoax. It is deadly serious business based on well-established constitutional norms. The House of Representatives — in proceedings in which the president chose not to participate — impeached Trump for abuse of power and contempt of Congress. The abuse consists of his efforts to extract a personal political ‘favor’ from the president of Ukraine as a precondition to the delivery of $391 million in military aid.”
Napolitano also addressed the question of Congress charging Trump with impeachable offenses saying that…
“…there is enough evidence here to do so. Federal election laws proscribe as criminal the mere solicitation of help for a political campaign from a foreign national or government. There is no dispute that Trump did this. In fact, the case for this is stronger now than it was when the House impeached him last year. Since then, more evidence, which Trump tried to suppress, has come to light.
On whether Trump committed “high crimes and misdemeanors” Napolitano concluded that “the evidence is ample and uncontradicted.” Naturally, these sort of rational, independent opinions are verboten on Fox News. That’s why Napolitano had to be muzzled and stuffed in a basement somewhere in the bowels of Fox News headquarters.
After going to the trouble of censoring the Senate hearings and replacing them with drooling Trump propagandists, Fox could hardly allow these ideas to leak into the general population of vulnerable Trump cult followers. Their lack of critical thinking skills would subject them to the unbearable discomfort of reality. And that would violate everything Fox News stands for.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.