Trump complained vociferously about the way he is treated by Fox News during his interview with Rush Limbaugh, and if he happens to catch some of what the network’s weekend hosts said following his Covid-19 super spreader event at the White House on Saturday, the ‘roided-up president might just blow a gasket.
Before tossing to a panel discussion about how the president performed today, host Arthel Neville gave it to Fox viewers straight by saying that Trump went out of his way to cajole some of the people of color in the crowd, who were brought to the event by the Black conservative activist Candace Owens.
“The president was pandering to the Black and Latinx Americans, wishing to garner their support this election,” Neville said.
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) October 10, 2020
Then Fox’s Eric Shawn began his post-event analysis portion of the segment by giving a quick recap of sorts and crediting the president for not coughing — a rather low bar, to say the least.
“Look, most importantly he looks fine. He sounded good. He seemed in good spirits and good humor. And he didn’t cough. Does that image of looking like his normal self go a long way in this campaign?” Shawn asked his guests.
— Peter Wade (@brooklynmutt) October 11, 2020
Former deputy assistant to George W. Bush Brad Blakeman immediately made up for both hosts’ rather lackluster cheerleading for Trump by making a complete fool of himself. Blakeman went full Trump sycophant, saying emphatically that the president did indeed make a difference with today’s speech, arguing that the president’s actions showed leadership and that people must move on with their lives, regardless of the pandemic.
“You bet it does. And it also shows that the president is leading by example… To think that we’re going to shut down our country. Shut down our lives. The president is right. The cure is worse than the disease. If we allow ourselves not to be able to live life,” Blakeman said.
The host then invited Matt Bennett, former deputy assistant to Bill Clinton, into the conversation by pointing out that Trump could still be infected, calling Trump “a coronavirus president.”
Bennett went off on Trump for his dangerous and irresponsible actions and attacked Blakeman for his callous assessment.
“I mean, it is just breathtakingly reckless. I couldn’t disagree more with Brad,” Bennett said. “This is exactly not what the leader of this country should be demonstrating to the public.”
The Democrat continued, “Look, we have lost 210,000 Americans. Covid[-19] has killed more than most of the other major causes of death combined… [Trump] has been incredibly irresponsible. He exposed his own Secret Service to an unbelievable risk by driving around in a sealed up car with two Secret Service agents who were wearing gowns and face shields and masks because he was in the throes of serious Covid[-19] at that moment. That is incredibly irresponsible. And it goes to show exactly how he has led us into this mess. He has done nothing to lead.”
The two analysts continued to disagree, with Blakeman going on to make a farcical claim that Trump “has saved millions of lives.”
Shawn played the role of a non-partisan argument TV host, letting both guests make their case, something that is rare on Fox, and Trump will likely not be pleased.
The president told Limbaugh on Friday, that the “biggest difference” with his lack of success during this election cycle as compared to 2016, is Fox News.
Trump called out former House speaker Paul Ryan, who is now a member of the board of directors of Fox Corporation, as the main culprit.
The network “is a much different thing than it was four years ago. Somebody said, ‘What is the biggest difference? I said the biggest difference is Fox,'” the president said. “You watch this Fox, and it is a whole different ballgame. And you know Paul Ryan is on the board of Fox. So I am sure that has something to do with it.”
Trump continued, “When Roger Ailes ran Fox, I mean Roger had a very strong point of view that is totally gone, and I think it is influenced by Paul Ryan.”
Astoundingly, Trump whines about how Fox is unfair to him, but during an interview with Sean Hannity this week, the president rattled off seven Fox hosts that he’d want to moderate a presidential debate against Joe Biden.
“Let’s get a fair anchor. Someone like the great Sean Hannity… We’ll get Laura [Ingraham]. We’ll get Mark [Levin],” Trump said, “We’ll get Judge Jeanine [Pirro]. We got a lot of them out there. We got a lot. We’ll get Jesse [Watters] or Pete [Hegseth]… Tucker [Carlson].”
“We got a lot of them out there,” Trump repeatedly said. But not enough to appease this always aggrieved victim president.