The network that polices everyone else’s patriotism and news coverage wants to sweep under the rug former President Trump’s dinner with anti-Semite Kanye West and the equally bigoted and open fascist Nick Fuentes.
It should be big news that Trump hosted blatant anti-Semite and all-around nutcase Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) and an even bigger anti-Semite and fascist (see below) Nick Fuentes for dinner – and, instead of condemning Fuentes, pretended not to have known who he was.
And it has been big news – except on the Murdochs’ Fox News.
WaPo’s Philip Bump crunched the numbers:
Fuentes’s name has come up at least 490 times over the past week on CNN and MSNBC, according to GDELT analysis of Internet Archive closed-captioning data.
On Fox News? He’s been mentioned nine times.
It also isn’t the case that Fuentes is being overlooked because networks are instead talking about the better-known Ye. Fox News is not really mentioning the rapper, either, though Ye has come up more often than has Fuentes. On average, CNN and MSNBC are mentioning Ye six and seven times as often as Fox News each hour, respectively.
It's not as if Fox doesn’t care about who presidents or politicians associate with. In addition to its obsessive attempts to smear then-candidate Barack Obama over his pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, remember how Fox smeared President Obama for making a campaign stop in “unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers’ living room? Or how the network tried to paint Obama as a Black militant because his church put photos of Obama, Rev. Wright and Louis Farrakhan on the same cover of its magazine?
But we know why the Murdoch network doesn’t want its viewers to pay too much attention to the fact that the guy it wants to move on from hosted such evil people: They’re the same kind of people Fox News caters to.
Media Matters’ Matt Gertz has a good analysis:
Fox’s quiet acquiescence points to a quandary for the network. It would apparently be a step too far for Fox to support Trump meeting with such despicable bigots – that could threaten its relations with advertisers and cable carriers. But the network is also too tightly intertwined with that world to criticize him for it. It has a Tucker Carlson problem.
Fox personalities condemning Trump for meeting with Ye would amount to a hairpin turn for the network. They were touting Ye’s bravery just weeks ago after Ye talked up Trump in Carlson’s fawning interview with him. But as they lavished praise on the rapper, the network was keeping under wraps some of the the anti-Jewish comments West made in the same discussion. When Ye started making similarly antisemitic remarks on social media, some at Fox criticized him – though not Carlson, who pretended that outburst hadn’t happened and continued to laud him.
Fuentes’ noxious racism and antisemitism are more explicit than what is typically found on Fox, and the network would seem to face less risk in condemning him. But Carlson in particular has made his show a clearinghouse for antisemitic tropes, white nationalist talking points, and fringe-right bigots. All the while, he has denied the existence of the white supremacists who praise him for mainstreaming their worldview. How could Carlson plausibly berate Trump for meeting with a white supremacist when he’s spent years telling his viewers that white supremacists don’t exist? And how could anyone else at the network convincingly draw a line between Fuentes’ commentary and what viewers see in its 8 p.m. hour?
My most recent post for Crooks and Liars highlighted how Fuentes is so much worse than “just” a white supremacist, which is awful enough. Among other things, he thinks “we need a dictatorship” to impose a society where women don’t have the right to vote; where gay sex, abortion, and contraception are banned and we have “something like Taliban rule in America – in a good way!”
Yet the network that accused Vice President Kamala Harris of not loving this country because she tweeted, “Enjoy the long weekend” over Memorial Day weekend, can’t even bring itself to condemn loudly and forcefully Trump’s literal hosting of a guy as virulently anti-American as Fuentes.
That speaks volumes about Fox’s phony patriotism. But it also speaks volumes about the so-called principles of Rupert Murdoch and son Lachlan Murdoch. Yes, they want to be done with Donald Trump. But only if it doesn’t cost them any money.
You can watch the amazing montage Rachel Maddow put together about Fuentes below, from MSNBC’s November 28, 2022 The Rachel Maddow Show.