My fears about Donna Brazile as a Fox News contributor were borne out again. She said nothing to challenge host Chris Wallace's misleading claim, “Apparently, there was no collusion” and she never mentioned that Fox’s own judicial analyst laid out Donald Trump’s impeachable offenses.
On Fox News Sunday yesterday, host Chris Wallace re-opened a panel discussion with a sympathetic account of Trump's attack on the Mueller report (transcript excerpts via Fox News):
WALLACE: President Trump accusing his opponents of attempting a coup to overturn his victory in the 2016 election.
And we're back now with the panel.
Karl [Rove], I understand the president's outrage. The Russia investigation put a cloud over his presidency for the first two years. And apparently there was no collusion.
But as a political matter, does it make sense for him to keep hitting the Mueller report as much as he did this past week, or should he move on to other issues?
For the record, Rove said, “count me in the ‘move on’ category.”
But Wallace not only misleadingly said there was no collusion, he conveniently overlooked the comments of Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox’s chief judicial analyst, when he noted that the Russia investigation found “127 confirmed communications between the campaign and Russians from July 2015 to November 2016 (Trump said there were none).”
Wallace also avoided mentioning Napolitano’s conclusion that Donald Trump obstructed justice and deserves impeachment. Instead, Wallace sympathized with "the president’s outrage.”
We understand why the Sean Hannity brigade at Fox would ignore Napolitano. But what’s Wallace’s excuse? According to Fox, Wallace “embod[ies] the ultimate journalistic integrity and professionalism” and, therefore, is worthy of moderating a Democratic candidates’ debate.
But Brazile has even less of an excuse. She’s the former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee turned Fox News contributor. In a New Yorker interview discussing her decision to join Fox, she insisted she’d speak “truth to power” and said, “I never back down.”
So how on earth did she not highlight the collusion-like behavior and Napolitano’s no-holds-barred commentary? She also ignored Rove’s cagey mention of “those independents who looked at the Mueller report and concluded the president -- no collusion and -- and -- and -- and -- and no -- no effort, no obstruction.”
Instead, Brazile acquiesced to Wallace’s request that she give Trump advice. To her credit, the advice noted Trump’s refusal to defend the country from Russian interference. But the moment she said Trump has been “thinking about himself" rather than "the country he took the oath to defend,” Wallace quickly changed the subject to attack Barack Obama – and Brazile allowed herself to be redirected.
BRAZILE: Well, since I've spent a lot of time dealing with this issue, not just politically, but emotionally, because I became chair for the second time as a result of the hacking of -- of our democracy. And so my advice to the president is, acknowledge what happened and then begin to --
WALLACE: Well, he said -- what do you mean, acknowledge what happened? He says it didn't happen.
BRAZILE: Acknowledge -- acknowledge the Russians --
BRAZILE: You know, came after our --
BRAZILE: Our country and then spend the next 18 months helping to -- to defend our country against future attacks and make sure that this never happens again. The -- the problem with the president is that he can't turn the page because he's caught right in the middle of -- of one of the biggest historical blunders I think of all times. And that is a foreign -- a hostile foreign country came after us. And the president's sitting here thinking about himself and not the -- the country he took the oath to defend.
WALLACE: But, well, wait -- wait, I mean, what about the argument that it was Obama who failed to defend the country in 2016? He was president, not Donald Trump.
I have already written about how Brazile is being used by Fox News to polish its tarnished image as a right-wing propaganda machine full of bigots. I had hoped that she would not be duped into further helping Fox’s propaganda during her hits. I wrote that yes, dialogue with those with whom you disagree is a good thing “but understanding who you’re talking to is even more important.”
Either Brazile has not yet figured out what’s going on or, worse, she doesn’t think she needs to counter it. I do not say that lightly or gladly. Brazile seems like a lovely, well-intentioned person. But these are serious, dangerous times and if Brazile wants to help our side, she’d better start understanding that Fox is a serious, dangerous foe and that she’s in a position that requires serious strategy.
Watch Brazile be a patsy for Fox News below, from the April 28, 2019 Fox News Sunday.