While Fox News desperately distracts from former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe’s revelations about Donald Trump, which should trigger a real national emergency, let’s be clear that Fox is not just protecting Dear Leader by shouting “Coup!” as loudly and aggressively as possible. Having hitched its own wagon to Trump, Fox is desperately protecting itself, too.
What McCabe has said recently should terrify any patriotic American: The FBI was so alarmed by Trump's "capacity" and "intent," it seriously considered invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. As an example, McCabe provided a shocking anecdote in which Trump refused to believe his own intelligence agencies’ assessment that North Korea had ballistic missiles capable of striking the U.S. because, he said, “I believe Putin” who had told him otherwise.
It’s a safe bet that McCabe and the FBI have more disturbing information about Trump than we know. McCabe told The Atlantic’s Natasha Bertrand that the FBI had been “building to this point” of opening a counterintelligence investigation “for some time” before it actually did so in the wake of FBI Director James Comey’s firing. “We had several cases already open under the umbrella investigation of the Russia case … and the concern about the president and whether or not he posed a national-security threat that we should be investigating had been building for some time,” McCabe said (my emphases added).
But instead of focusing on what worried the FBI to such a degree that it would even consider such a radical maneuver, Fox has been doing everything to deflect attention from a situation that should worry all Americans – by baselessly accusing the FBI of a “coup.” Yet, as The Washington Post’s Philip Bump explained, there is nothing resembling a “coup” in the FBI’s actions. “First of all, removing a president from office using systems included in the Constitution is, by definition, not a coup,” he wrote. Furthermore, he noted, the vice president and half the cabinet and, probably, two-thirds of each chamber of Congress would have to join the effort in order to remove Trump.
Even worse than the “coup” lies, which serve to cover up hints of Trump’s treasonous behavior, Fox is engaging in the banana republic tactics (while posing as upholders of democracy) of demanding McCabe be investigated and/or arrested. From a post by Media Matters’ Matt Gertz today:
[Sean] Hannity said that the president’s antagonists had been caught “staging a coup to remove a duly elected president to pursue their own self-serving agenda.” He added that Attorney General William Barr needs to “stand on the Constitution to stop this type of corruption.” Hannity has previously urged Barr to conduct criminal investigations into Rosenstein, McCabe, and a host of other Obama-era officials, including Hillary Clinton.
[Lou] Dobbs is calling for a severe response. “My question to you is why is the establishment in Washington, D.C., not screaming for the arrest of Andrew McCabe and for all of his cohorts and the DOJ and the FBI?” he asked last night of Matt Schlapp, a Republican operative whose wife Mercedes is a senior White House aide. “Why the hell isn’t the Republican Party standing up and demanding his arrest?”
This is extremely dangerous behavior, as Gertz points out. Given Fox’s success in promoting the government shutdown and the national emergency declaration, there’s every reason to believe Trump will give credence to these cries, too. And Fox knows it.
Here's something else to keep in mind: Hannity and his band of like-minded lickspittles have self-interests that align with Trump’s. Sure, the sycophants may adore him with the most noble of sentiments (though it’s hard to imagine noble intent coexisting with treacherous deception) but at this point, their own fortunes are inextricably entwined with those of Dear Leader. Should Trump be found conclusively to have conspired with Putin, betrayed the U.S., or committed some crime and eventually run out of office in disgrace, Hannity, Dobbs, et al. will be covered in the same shame and humiliation.
In other words, Fox News Trumpers and even Fox News, itself, have almost as much at stake in keeping Trump in power - and stamping out any threats to that power - as he does.
That is a very dangerous alliance of interests, indeed.
Watch some of the “coup” lies below, from CNN's February 17, 2019 Reliable Sources mashup.
FOX is lies
FOX is poison
FOX is propaganda
FOX is treason
Sean Hannity and Donald Trump are liars, frauds, cowards, and traitors.