Donald Trump has signaled he’s ready and willing to use any underhanded trick and dishonesty he can think of to gain power. And at least some Fox News hosts are on board.
On Hannity last night, after he got through smearing the Gold Star Khan family, Sean Hannity invited Trump to start up his “rigged election” attack. From the FoxNews.com transcript (with my emphases):
HANNITY: You said at a speech today you’re afraid this election is going to be rigged. Explain.
TRUMP: Yes. Well, I’ve been—I’ve been hearing about it for a long time. And I know last time, there were—you had precincts where there were practically nobody voting for the Republican. And I think that’s wrong. I think that was unfair, frankly, than Mitt Romney. You had areas where a lot of people were curious, How is that possible?
And I’ve been hearing about it for a long time. And I just hope that there’s really—I hope the Republicans get out there and watch very closely because I think we’re going to win this election, but if it’s rigged, like anything else—look, it was rigged, I thought, a little bit for me, and we won in landslides. I think it was rigged against Bernie Sanders with this super-delegates nonsense...
TRUMP: ... it was...
HANNITY: Well, we know it was rigged now.
TRUMP: ... you know, the guy never had a chance.
HANNITY: We have the e-mails.
TRUMP: And—and I’m telling you, November 8th, we’d better be careful, because that election is going to be rigged. And I hope the Republicans are watching closely, or it’s going to be taken away from us.
HANNITY: All right, Mr. Trump, thank you so much for being with us. We appreciate it.
Today, on Outnumbered, guest David Asman, also a Fox host, validated Trump’s argument:
“Well it’s already happened, to a certain extent. I mean look what happened in Virginia. Terry McAuliffe, a lifelong Clinton ally, allowed 200,000 ex-cons, felons, to suddenly become voters in the election. I mean 200,000 votes is nothing to sniff about. I mean that—you can argue that already in open, in daylight, it has been rigged in Hillary’s favor by at least the allies of Hillary Clinton around the nation. That’s just one example. I would like to hear—sometimes you put something out there, he doesn’t have all the facts to back it up. And then he gets the facts later."
As Media Matters noted, many in the media have seen right through this charade – and they have labeled it the dangerous ploy that it is. For example, New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait called out this "new way to undermine democracy" and reminded us that Trump has already ignored evidence when, in 2012, he declared President Obama’s re-election a “sham” and a “travesty.”
But Fox News has a long history of its own with this kind of shenanigan. “Rigged election” is merely this year’s version of the phantom “voter fraud” that Fox has resurrected and fear mongered about every election cycle. I have long contended that that fake issue was merely a pretext to lay the groundwork for contesting any close election in which a Republican lost. It has also been a way to promote voter ID laws which just happen to suppress minority voters who usually vote Democratic.
What’s worse about this time around is that the candidate seems to have gotten on board even before Fox. It’s almost a certainty that at least some Fox hosts will be happy to join him.
And the country be damned.
Watch Hannity enable Trump’s anti-Americanism below, from the August 1 Hannity show. The discussion occurs near the end.
The powers behind the Republicans, in despair at the continuing ‘race to the bottom’ by anti-intellectual tea potties and radical conservatives, realised that their party was heading straight down the toilet. The damage that a President Crazy Cruz or Clueless Rubio could do to the party as well as the country was too horrifying to imagine.
With or without the collusion of influential Democrats, they set about planning to nominate the most repellent, unelectable creep available. Once he crashed and burned, taking with him the worst of the tea party and ‘religious’ monsters, a fresh and cleansed group of sane conservatives could take the time to rebuild their once-proud party, all the time not suffering greatly under the Presidency of a safe, middle-of-the-road Democrat.
Cuz the wheels are coming off this bus as I write these words. The orange comb over is losing endorsements. Mostly behind his attack on the gold star family of the Khans. Obama sez he is unfit. John McCain and Paul Ryan are backing out. I expect turtle man from the Senate along soon.
But shit, he’s always got Chachi at his back.
So what’s the proof of voter fraud? Look no further than my home state of Virginia, Fox.
Multi-hour long lines in liberal Northern Virginia which just coincidentally tips my home swing state Democratic in national elections. Could it be out Republican legislature underfunds Virginia Department of Elections on purpose? Perish the thought and ignore the national trend of Republicans loving low voter turnouts.
Maybe Der Furor can separate Sean’s lips from his ass long enough to discuss the extensive gerrymandering here in Virginia and all the Republican states which are keeping the GOP dominate in the House despite more people voting Democratic.
Funny how democracy works when Republicans control most states.
Did I mention my previous corrupt Republican governor whose case is still grinding through the system and Republicans in the Virginia legislature getting caught bribing a state senator to change parties to keep a majority?
Yeah, now I get Sean’s and Trump’s point. If Hillary Clinton, as I predict, wins swing state Virginia then the system must really be rigged to overcome all the Republican corruption here.
Let em have their imaginary cheated victory.