Tag Archives: Fox News

Fox media analyst needs a reality check . . . seriously!

I get that Howard Kurtz, who once worked for the Washington Post, now is a media analyst for a pro-Donald Trump cable news outlet, the Fox News Channel. Thus, he is inclined to speak more kindly of the president and those close to him than others who tend to look more critically at the Trump Era.

But, c’mon, Howard! Get a grip!

He told Laura Ingraham, another Fox News “contributor,” that first lady Melania Trump has gotten the worst media treatment of any first lady in modern times. He said: “Melania is subjected to a particularly brutal kind of treatment and mockery . . . No other modern first lady has been treated like this.” 

Kurtz cannot be serious. Can he? I guess he can — in his own mind.

Let me offer a couple of examples that I submit would contradict his view of Melania Trump’s media treatment: Michelle Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

I’ll stipulate that first ladies as a rule deserve some cushion from the pounding that the media deliver to their husbands. To that extent, Melania Trump is no different from any of her predecessors.

However, do I really need to remind Kurtz of the hideous racially tinged, defamatory insults that those on the right hurled at Michelle Obama during her eight years as first lady? And, yes, the media reported it. I do not want to restate some of the monstrous epithets she endured. You know what they are. Michelle Obama damn sure does.

As for Hillary Clinton, has Kurtz forgotten how the media reported on the far right’s accusations that Hillary and Bill Clinton were actually living as husband and wife, or that the two of them actually ordered the murder of their political opponents in the years prior to President Clinton’s election in 1992?

Have the media gone that far in their treatment of Melania Trump?

I do not believe that is the case. Thus, Howard Kurtz needs to re-calibrate his media-analyst antennae. Dial it back, Howie, on your criticism of the media as it relates to Donald and Melania Trump.

Hey, POTUS already has his media lapdogs!

Donald J. Trump has expressed a desire for the federal government to create a TV network that would report favorably on his exploits as president of the United States.

It’s a preposterous notion on at least one level: My reading of the U.S. Constitution prohibits such a thing in this country. A “free press” is supposed to operate without government interference or influence.

Trump, though, has expressed envy over the love and kisses heaped on his boyfriend, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, by TV anchors in that reclusive nation. Well, that is laughable on its face. Those TV anchors are employed by a murderer — Kim — and they would be killed if they didn’t say what he demanded of them.

Now, as for Trump’s desire for favorable TV coverage, he already has a major cable “news” network in his hip pocket. Fox News — aka Faux News — is chock full of talking heads who suck up to the president daily. Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, the trio on “Fox & Friends,” all are loath to say anything critical of Trump. So, they don’t. Plus, the network brings on an array of “contributors,” the vast majority of whom follow the lead of the network’s staff of anchors and correspondents.

Which brings me to my question of the day: Why does Donald Trump want to create a TV network that slobbers all over him when he already has one doing his bidding?

Bizarre.

A+, Mr. President? I don’t think so

Mr. President, you are entitled to your opinion. As am I, sir.

You give yourself an A+ grade for the first two years of your presidency. I wouldn’t grade your performance anywhere near that high.

I laughed when I heard about Chris Wallace’s question to you, mentioning Presidents Washington and Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt and Reagan. I also laughed when he asked if you belonged in those men’s company.

Then you gave yourself that A+ grade.

You’re killin’ me, Mr. President.

You keep taking credit for the economy. I applaud the job figures that keep coming in each month while you’ve been in office. Yep, they’re great. But you ought to know — and I wish you did realize it — that presidents can’t take all the credit they think they deserve. I must remind you — yet again! — that you inherited an economy that was in good shape, unlike the economy that your predecessor inherited when he took office in January 2009.

There have been more than the normal number of hiccups along the way. Your key staff keeps turning over regularly. Not to mention the Cabinet posts that keep opening up. You fire folks. They quit under criticism. And yet you keep yammering about the hordes of individuals who are just chomping at the bit waiting to come to work in the White House.

Whatever you say, Mr. President. I just don’t believe it. Nor do others of my ilk, who outnumber those of your ilk by a good bit.

Keep deluding yourself, Mr. President, into thinking you deserve an A+ plus. Others of us believe differently. I won’t assign a grade. I’ll leave that others.

Just know that it ain’t nearly as good as the one you gave yourself.

 

Trump hits back … at the warrior who got Osama bin Laden!

Donald Trump isn’t known for picking his targets with much care or thought. His “shoot-and-aim” approach to firing criticism scores points with his base; not so much with the rest of us.

Fox News’s Chris Wallace asked the president to respond to former Admiral William McRaven’s criticism that the greatest threat to America is Trump’s demonization of the media.

The president’s response? He wonders why McRaven, the former head of the U.S. Special Forces Command, didn’t bring justice to Osama bin Laden sooner than he did.

You see, McRaven — a retired Navy SEAL — was on duty in May 2011 when U.S. commandos flew into Pakistan and engaged in a firefight with the al-Qaeda leader’s garrison. The troops then killed bin Laden — the 9/11 mastermind — and transported his corpse to the USS Carl Vinson, where he was given a “burial at sea.”

Trump said to Wallace that McRaven could have gotten bin Laden sooner than he did. He seemed to imply incompetent military and intelligence leadership as the reason that bin Laden was able to hide in plain sight in Abbattobad, Pakistan. He called McRaven a “fan” of Hillary Clinton and “backer” of Barack Obama. I’ll add here that Clinton was the secretary of state at the time of the raid and, oh yes, Obama was the president who issued the order to launch the mission, which I should add was carried out with no loss of American lives.

Take a look at Trump’s answer to Wallace’s question about whether the president would give credit for the mission that took down bin Laden: “They took him down but — look, look, there’s news right there, he lived in Pakistan, we’re supporting Pakistan, we’re giving them $1.3 billion a year, which we don’t give them anymore, by the way, I ended it because they don’t do anything for us, they don’t do a damn thing for us.”

Huh?

Hell freezes over: POTUS expresses ‘regret’

I guess hell has frozen over, finally.

Donald J. Trump says he “regrets” not attending a Veterans Day commemoration at Arlington National Cemetery. He stayed at the White House during the day. He had no public events. His schedule was clear.

The president did manage to fire off nine tweets during the day.

Yet he now expresses a bit of regret over his no-show at Arlington.

He made the admission to Fox News’s Chris Wallace, to whom he said “in retrospect” he made a bad call on a day set aside to honor the nation’s veterans.

It’s an unusual step for a president who says he never apologizes. He has said he hasn’t ever sought forgiveness. Donald Trump doesn’t look back on his deeds or statements. Introspection isn’t included in the Trumpian vocabulary, according to the president.

What do we make of this semi-contrition?

I don’t know. It might signal an awakening by this president. Or, it might just be a touch of pandering.

I’ll reserve any final determination for later. In the meantime, I’ll hope for the best — but prepare for the worst.

Should Fox give its media stars the boot?

The Fox News Channel, Donald Trump’s favorite cable “news” network, has issued a curious statement.

It says it does “not condone” its celebrity talkers taking part in partisan political rallies. So, what’s the network going to do about it? What will it do to punish right-wing blowhard Sean Hannity and Jeannine Pirro for their appearances with Trump at a Missouri campaign rally?

I think they need to be sanctioned seriously. Maybe yanked off their air. Perhaps suspended without pay while they consider what they did. Or … fired outright for cause.

Hannity is a known shill for Trump. He’s been standing behind the president for a couple of years. He refused to disclose to viewers about his “professional relationship” with Michael Cohen, the lawyer who once was Trump’s Mr. Fix It, but who has turned on the president.

Do you think the network would go ballistic if, say, one of its rivals at MSNBC or CNN had appeared at a campaign rally for a Democratic candidate campaigning for office this year? Yeah! Do ya think?

Fox has crossed the line that separates it from the politicians it covers. I understand fully that the network is acknowledged to be friendly toward the president. The network and its commentators are entitled to speak their minds.

They are not entitled, though, to become active and highly visible participants in a partisan campaign rally.

According to The Hill: “Fox news does not condone any talent participating in campaign events,” read a statement to The Hill. “We have an extraordinary team of journalists helming our coverage tonight and we are extremely proud of their work. This was an unfortunate distraction and has been addressed.”

It has not been addressed sufficiently, in my view.

Trump salutes ‘great friends’ at Fox

Take all the time you need to come up with an answer to this question: When was the last time you heard a president of the United States salute his “great friends” at a major mainstream media organization?

I know. You can’t remember it. Neither can I.

Yet there he was at an Iowa campaign rally, hollering about all his “great friends” at the Fox News Channel, which has become a sort of de facto state-run media outlet. Fox News is the preferred cable news and commentary network of Donald Trump. Why? Because its commentary gives the president a pass — virtually — on all the mistakes, missteps, misstatements and miscues he commits on a daily basis. Fox doesn’t call the president out on all the lies he tells, nor does it question the policy decisions he makes.

So the president has “great friends” there. He cited Jeannine Pirro, Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Steve Doocy and how they use the term “Dims” to describe Democrats. Funny, huh? Aww, not really.

The media aren’t supposed to be “friends” with politicians, let alone with presidents of the United States. They are charged with asking tough questions, of holding public officials accountable for their actions and rhetoric. Every president prior to Donald Trump has recognized that necessary role the media play in maintaining the strength of our system of government.

This guy, Trump? He labels tough questioners to be purveyors of “fake news” and relies on the feel-good “reporting” he gets from his “friends at Fox News.”

Very weird, man.

Let’s call him ‘Slippery Mitch’

In the spirit of Donald J. Trump’s knack for attaching pejorative nicknames on certain politicians, I want to hang a label on the U.S. Senate majority leader.

Let’s call him “Slippery Mitch” McConnell.

Oh, my. The fellow is hard to pin down, no matter how direct the questioning becomes. Consider what happened this morning on “Fox News Sunday.”

The program moderator Chris Wallace sought to ask McConnell whether the Senate would consider a U.S. Supreme Court nomination in 2020 if one were to become available. Why did Wallace pose the question? Because McConnell blocked then-President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland in 2016 after the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

McConnell said the president shouldn’t be allowed to pick a justice in an election year. He prevented Garland from getting a hearing before the Senate.

But, Wallace wondered … what about 2020, when we’ll have another presidential election?

McConnell wouldn’t answer Wallace’s direct question, which was whether he would proceed with a confirmation process if Donald Trump nominated someone in 2020. McConnell then tossed out the notion that he blocked Obama’s nomination of Garland on the fact that the Senate was led by a party that differed from the president.

Wallace picked up on McConnell’s change of motivation and wanted to know if that rule still applied, given that both the Senate and the presidency could be controlled by Republicans.

McConnell still refused to answer the question, casting it as a hypothetical.

Wallace grills McConnell

And … so it goes on and on.

None of this is a surprise. Politicians by their nature are prone to slip and slide away from direct questions … which I reckon explains why the media and others are so quick to praise those rare politicians who are willing to speak directly and candidly.

“Slippery Mitch” McConnell has shown just how elusive an experienced pol can become.

‘Even the playing field,’ Mr. President? Really?

Donald John Trump offered a straightforward answer to a direct question from a Fox News questioner about why he felt the need to mock a woman who accused a Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault.

Trump told Jeannine Pirro that he felt the need to “even the playing field” because of Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation that Justice Brett Kavanaugh assaulted her when they were teenagers.

Really, Mr. President? You had to use this woman’s allegation as a campaign rally punch line?

He disgraced himself yet again. Sure, Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate, has taken his oath of office and will start hearing arguments this week as member of the highest court in the land.

However, the president’s participation in this political debate arguably was one of many “lowest moments” of his term in office.

The president felt some need to denigrate a woman who had leveled a serious accusation. Indeed, he earlier had urged that Ford get a fair hearing and said her allegation needed to be examined with extreme care and deliberation.

Trump scores victory

Then he flew off the rails with that ghastly rant.

He needed to “even the playing field” … or so Trump said.

There were many other ways to accomplish that goal than to do what he did at that campaign rally, drawing hoots, hollers and huzzahs from the crowd gathered in front of him.

His response, as it usually is, sounded so “unpresidented.”

Why the mention of ‘Fox News’?

Is it me or do others hear the same thing from our friends and family members who like to invoke the name of “Fox News” whenever they refer to hearing something on the mainstream media.

I keep getting this specific media reference when the person with whom I am speaking about the news of the day.

You know what I’m talking about, yes?

You’re talking to someone about, oh, a particular event. It might have something to do with politics of public policy; or … it might not. The person to whom you are talking will say, “I heard something on Fox News about that … ”

The Fox News reference might be relevant. So many times, though, it is irrelevant. It lends nothing to whatever discussion is taking place. I generally feel no need to mention the source of whatever item I heard on cable or broadcast TV news networks.

But, hey, that’s just me … I guess.

To be candid, this kind of gratuitous mention of “Fox News” is about as relevant as the individual who says: “I was walking down the street and this colored guy waved at me.”

Do you get where I’m going with this?

It’s as if the Fox News devotees are trying to validate something about their broadcast/cable TV watching preferences. Or, it might be that my friends and family members — knowing that I do not watch Fox News — are trying to get under my skin.

I’m not irritated. I’m just, oh, curious.