Fox’s Outnumbered show trotted out five talking heads – including one actor – to gnash their teeth over the supposed horror of having 10 American sailors briefly detained then released, unharmed, by Iran. Yet there wasn’t a single foreign policy or national security credential to be found among any of them.
We can just imagine how these chickenhawks would be squealing if an Iranian boat drifted into the Gulf of Mexico. But when even cohost Harris Faulkner acknowledged that one of our Navy boats “drifted into Iranian waters,” apparently, we were supposed to threaten to blow Iran to kingdom come or something.
Tellingly, the talking heads were so busy squawking that the safe release of our sailors proved our weakness, not one of them offered an alternative as to how the U.S. should have responded instead. Nor did any of them explain why, if diplomacy did not work to secure the sailors' release, Iran released them so quickly.
Even more tellingly, the only mention of gratitude and relief for the safety of our servicemen and women came once, by Faulkner only, and that was more than five minutes into the discussion.
Faulkner seemed more concerned as, early in the discussion, her voice filled with hammy emotion when she said that a video of one U.S. sailor apologizing “is causing some serious concern that Iran may have coerced” the apology “as part of its attempt to humiliate America.”
The only national security/foreign policy expertise in the entire segment came from a video clip of Senator John McCain calling the incident “a great propaganda coup for the Iranians” and blasting the White House: “(White House spokesman) Earnest – that idiot – said Iran gave our sailors the proper courtesy that you’d expect and (Secretary of State) Kerry, to top it all off, expressed his gratitude,” McCain sneered.
Then followed the rest of the “fair and balanced” discussion with all five hosts agreeing with McCain.
“He didn’t even use air quotes when he called Josh Earnest an idiot!” Faulkner said approvingly. The show’s #OneLuckyGuy, actor Dean Cain, laughed heartily.
Faulkner’s Fox bio says nothing about even covering national security. So it’s no surprise that she thought Cain’s sympathy for military (except for their safe release, apparently) was all the credentials he needed to be a Fox News expert. “Dean, I know you’re so supportive, an advocate for our military. What are your thoughts about this story?” she asked.
It turns out that Cain’s “great buddy” is the captain of The Truman towards which Iran shot a missile “not that long ago.” Cain, another non-server, therefore "knew" about Iran, “They see it as weakness. They see us as very weak right now,” and “I think it did” violate the Geneva Convention. Nobody asked him to back up that conclusion.
Elizabeth MacDonald, Fox Business Network’s stocks editor (another one who never seems to have spent a minute in service), attacked John Kerry as “impenetrably absurd” for calling the sailors' release a diplomatic victory. Later, however, she admitted “I don’t know the facts and circumstances” behind the sailors’ capture.
Faulkner announced, “It seems like Republicans are angrier at the White House than the White House is angry at Iran. How is that possible?”
Of course Faulkner meant to suggest that the White House is not pro-American enough to hate Iran. But if you ask me, she was really acknowledging that Republicans are not pro-American enough to support our country during what they think is some big international crisis.
Cohost Katie Pavlich claimed Iran’s behavior was “a direct response” to Congress’ threat to impose more sanctions. She said in her condescending, scolding voice (does she have any other?), “Once again it goes to show, we’ve been saying this for years, that appeasement to our enemies doesn’t work. Yep, Pavlich is another tough-talking pundit who never put her own fanny on the line.
Same goes for Andrea Tantaros, the Fox News pundit who urged her radio show listeners to “do me a favor” and punch an Obama supporter “in the face.” That “patriot” complained that the sailors “left their weapons, got on their hands and knees, were possibly coerced into an apology.”
Faulkner gets at least some credit for saying, “We are blessed our guys are OK,” even if the segment was more than 3/4 over before she thought of it. But in the next breath, Faulkner suggested that her prior “thought” could “be almost used” as a GOP campaign ad. “Like, ‘We’re angry with the White House,’ the Republicans could say. ‘Who’s the White House angry at?’” she offered.
The sad thing is that there are probably millions, of viewers out there who think this was legitimate news analysis.
Watch it below, from the January 14 Outnumbered.
As described at Wikipedia, Dubya authorized a letter to be delivered by then Ambassador Prueher to Chinese Foreign Minister Tang stating that the US was “very sorry” for the death of a Chinese pilot during the incident and “very sorry” for entering Chinese airspace. Of course, the Administration claimed it wasn’t really a letter of apology but one of regret and sorrow.
I can’t find anything that describes how FoxNoise covered the incident (knowing the propagandists there, they probably scrubbed it as soon as it became “inconvenient” for their agenda).
One Houston building used to have Faux blaring inside their elevators. I think too many sane people complained, cuz they are blank screens now.
However, their overreaction to this incident with Iran is so exaggerated I feel like I’m watching an amateurish elementary school play.
“Fox & Friends” were all smiles and giggles while they talked of America’s epic humiliation and mistreatment. If this sends them into apoplexy how can we trade with Vietnam?