How does “straight news” Fox host Shannon Bream promote GOP talking points about the brutal attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul? By asking a leading question about it to RNC chair Ronna McDaniel, then letting her lie without challenge.
Bream opened the interview with the obviously political attack on Paul Pelosi. But she barely provided an update before signaling to RNC chair Ronna McDaniel she was welcome to start a GOP attack.
BREAM: I want to start with the attack on Paul Pelosi. It’s getting all the headlines this weekend. He’s recovering from surgery, expected to do well, have a full recovery but The Washington Post wasting no time writing this: “For many Democrats, the attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband represents the all but inevitable conclusion of Republicans’ increasingly violent and threatening rhetoric toward their political opponents.” Still a lot we don’t know about this case but what do you make of that accusation?
Sure enough, McDaniel immediately played the victim, then began portraying Democrats as dangerous. McDaniel’s rhetoric was designed to inflame and stopped just one step short of the kind The Washington Post was talking about.
McDaniel began by lying about Republican rhetoric.
MCDANIEL: Well, I think that’s unfair. I think this is a deranged individual. You can't say, people saying, “Let's fire Pelosi” or “Let’s take back the House” is saying, "Go do violence." It's just unfair.
Ronna “Please forget I’m a Romney” McDaniel almost certainly knows that’s not the kind of rhetoric in question. It’s rhetoric like Donald Trump calling Nancy Pelosi, on Fox News, a “crazed lunatic” who is “hurting our country” and “controlled by the radical left.” Or Tucker Carlson falsely suggesting she deliberately blocked security at the Capitol on January 6, then covered up the inquiry (recently released video shows Pelosi called for more security).
Yesterday’s New York Times highlights worse, more inflammatory rhetoric from McDaniel’s own RNC and a Republican candidate:
In 2009, the Republican National Committee ran an advertisement featuring Ms. Pelosi’s face framed by the barrel of a gun — complete with the sound of a bullet firing as red bled down the screen — a takeoff on the James Bond film “Goldfinger” in which the woman second in line to the presidency was cast as Pussy Galore.
This year, a Republican running in the primary for Senate in Arizona aired an ad showing him in a spaghetti western-style duel with Democrats, in which he shoots at a knife-wielding, mask-wearing, bug-eyed woman labeled “Crazyface Pelosi.”
The Times further noted, “For the better part of two decades, Republicans have targeted Ms. Pelosi, the most powerful woman in American politics, as the most sinister Democratic villain of all, making her the evil star of their advertisements and fund-raising appeals in hopes of animating their core supporters.”
And now she is one of the most threatened members of Congress, The Times says.
Bream remained silent in the wake of McDaniel’s lies.
So McDaniel went on to paint Republicans as victims – and to further vilify Pelosi by suggesting she’s responsible for the crime against her husband. With more lies.
MCDANIEL: And I think we all need to recognize violence is up across the board. Lee Zeldin was attacked. We had an assassination attempt against Brett Kavanaugh. And Democrats didn't repudiate that. Joe Biden didn't talk about the assassination attempt against Brett Kavanaugh.
But I think the other thing to remember is if this weren't Paul Pelosi, this criminal would probably be out on the street tomorrow. We saw Lee Zeldin's attacker was on the street right after he attacked him. This is what Democrats policies are bringing. But, of course, we wish Paul Pelosi a recovery. We don't like this at all across the board. We don't want to see attacks on any politician from any political background.
To her credit, Bream noted that President Obama has called for everyone to tone down the rhetoric and try to disagree without demonization. But she did not point out that McDaniel had done no such thing.
Nor did Bream call out McDaniel’s falsehood about President Biden not talking about the attempted assassination on Kavanaugh. None other than Fox News reported, on June 8, 2022, “President Biden on Wednesday condemned the actions of the armed man who was arrested near Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home ‘in the strongest terms,’ and said he supports legislation to fund increased security for the high court and judges.”
You can see how “straight news” shows promote Republican propaganda below, from the October 30, 2022 Fox News Sunday.