Senator Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general, may be his most controversial nominee. Fox News decided to give Sessions a little help by suspending its coverage of the Sessions’ confirmation hearing today in order to air the Trump-loving, hour-long Outnumbered show with Trump’s chosen press secretary, Sean Spicer, as the guesst.
The show began with Trump cheerleader Harris Faulkner, laughably presented as a news anchor on another show, making Spicer feel right at home. “We say you’re outnumbered but mostly you’re welcome,” Harris chirped.
Cohost Kennedy added, “You have the greatest socks I think I’ve ever seen.”
“They’re fabulous,” Faulkner agreed.
Faulkner’s opening question to Spicer was just as chummy: “Let’s start with the kind of support that Sessions has going into this.”
That gave Spicer an opening to hype Sessions’ civil rights record, which nobody challenged, even though plenty of black people disagree.
Faulkner’s next “penetrating” question was to cohost Meghan McCain: “You know, Meghan, as we’ve watched this, one of the things that has been said as you kind of pull back – you’ll get a little commentary and go back into it – is that Sessions is very calm. I mean, you can tell that he was very prepared for this and Sean, you’re nodding at this. I just wanted to get your thoughts on that.”
Because, yeah, Sessions’ preparation is the most important thing everybody was watching for. That is, after how much support he’s getting.
McCain’s response was just as vapid. “It is very clear that he has been prepping and training for this for a while. I’ve actually been really impressed how he’s done so far.”
That was it for McCain’s insight. She moved right along to attack the “wildly distracting” protesters who repeatedly interrupted and were then ejected from the hearings. “I find it really inappropriate,” she complained.
That was a perfect opening for Spicer to demand Democrats denounce them.
Democrat Julie Roginsky was the lone Democrat on the five-person panel and the fig leaf that gave Fox cover to present this PR effort as a news discussion. Roginsky made some pointed comments about Sessions here and confronted Spicer rather vigorously in later segments. But her first comment now was, “I’ll denounce it,” meaning the hearing protesters. “I think it’s inappropriate.”
However, Roginsky did immediately go on to say, “Let’s focus on what’s important here.” She brought up Senator Sessions’ record on voting rights and criminal justice reform.
After Spicer defended Sessions’ record, African American Faulkner jumped in to say that what Republican Senator Susan Collins had learned about it “opened her eyes." Faulkner continued, "And how many people in the room had their eyes opened by the fact.”
Cohost Kennedy was tired of talking about civil rights. That’s probably easy for her, given that she’s white. She griped, “We have to get off that issue at some point.” Kennedy added, “Yes, it’s very important but he’s not the attorney general just of civil rights but also of civil liberties.” She said she is concerned about marijuana laws and drug reform. “It kind of frightens me that someone in that powerful of a position seems like he wants to kick-start a multimillion dollar drug war which is a losing cause in this country.”
But have no fear that Kennedy was being anti-Trump. She gave him a shout out for being “more sympathetic to the rehabilitation process” and for supporting medicinal marijuana, unlike Sessions.
That gave Spicer an opening to assure her that Sessions would follow a Trump agenda, not his own.
As the discussion concluded, Faulkner promised, “We’ll continue to let you know the headlines coming out of that [hearing].”
Watch the shilling below, from the January 10, 2017 Outnumbered.