You really have to wonder if Fox News viewers are stupid enough to believe the sheer nonsense that flows from the network’s agents of disinformation (aka hosts). And isn’t Donald Trump’s State TV network insulting them by presuming that they will swallow everything thing they say no matter how preposterous? Are there any limits to what the cult will consume without question?
On Tuesday morning the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends led off with a segment that featured a tweet by Trump posing for a photo-op while wearing a face mask.
We are United in our effort to defeat the Invisible China Virus, and many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance. There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President! pic.twitter.com/iQOd1whktN
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2020
There is so much wrong with that tweet that it’s going to take some time to unwind all of it. First of all, Trump has been the most divisive president since the Civil War, so it’s ridiculous for him to assert that “We are united” in any context other than removing him from office. Secondly, even if we concede that the coronavirus originated in China, it’s success in infecting nearly four million Americans, and killing more than 140,000, is due primarily to Trump’s negligence and incompetence. Thirdly, if Trump regards wearing a mask as patriotic, then his patriotism has been woefully absent for the past six months. And finally, most polls show that Trump isn’t even in the top 44 of favorite presidents.
Despite the absurdity of Trump’s newfound advocacy of mask wearing, Fox and Friends co-host Steve Doocy latched onto it as launching pad for some syrupy sycophancy (video below):
“Trump encourages Americans to mask up. Look at this. […] It’s very telling that yesterday he posted that Twitter picture with him wearing the mask because, as we just opened this segment, certain localities may have to close things down again because the spread is going out there.
But you know, masks are not political. The science says that face coverings are the best way to slow the spread. And if you don’t want to close things down again, if you want to reopen the schools, if you want to keep businesses open, if you want to go to sports, you’ve got to wear the masks. And so I think the president is becoming a leader on this issue. Maybe now, once again, MAGA will stand for ‘Masks Are Great Again.'”
Seriously? Trump is a “leader” on this issue? Since when are people who, due to ignorance and vanity, refused to wear a mask – and even mocked those who did – regarded as leaders when they claw their way onto the bandwagon five months later, after unprecedented suffering and death?
Despite Doocy’s new position that “masks are not political,” Trump’s reversal on masks is nothing but pure politics. Trump’s flip-flop is obviously driven by the fact that his approval rating has fallen off the edge of the Earth, and he is losing to Joe Biden in most polls by double digits. This is a desperation play as Trump watches his world collapse around him. It’s the reason he’s returning to the daily Coronavirus Task Force briefings, which were always just thinly veiled reelection campaign events.
Trump’s aversion to masks is well documented – by Trump! As recently as this past weekend, Trump was asked by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday if he regretted not wearing a mask and if he would consider a national mandate. He replied…
“No. I want people to have a certain freedom, and I don’t believe in that. No. And I don’t agree with the statement that if everybody wear a mask everything disappears. […] all of sudden everybody’s got to wear a mask, and as you know masks cause problems, too.”
Trump has been saying much the same thing since the earliest days of the pandemic. “I think wearing a face mask,” Trump said last April, “as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens, I don’t know. Somehow, I don’t see it for myself. I just don’t.”
However, Trump sees it now. Why? Perhaps because of his abysmal polling and reelection prospects. For Trump the primary concern has always been himself. and it is no longer possible for him to pretend that the American people are on his side. A new ABC Washington Post poll shows that 64% say that they do not trust Trump on the matters related to the coronavirus. And 79% are in favor of wearing masks.
Consequently, Trump is suddenly presenting himself as a patriotic advocate of mask wearing. And true to form, Fox News sees that late and exploitative transition as a demonstration of leadership. And both seem confidant that Trump’s cult disciples will adapt these mythologies to their warped version of reality. The good news for them is that they are likely right. The Trump cultists remain firmly in their comatose state. The bad news for them is that there aren’t enough of them to fill an Applebee’s.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
Steve Doocy praises Trump for tweeting a mask photo: "Masks are not political. The science says that face coverings are the best way to slow the spread. … The president is becoming a leader on this issue." pic.twitter.com/qsBqKBHICR
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) July 21, 2020