Donald Trump’s besties on Fox & Friends don’t like the Iran nuclear agreement but they tried to explain to Trump, while also massaging his ego, that pulling out of the agreement is worse.
Media Matters explains why this discussion on Fox & Friends, which Crooks and Liars noted opened the show, is so noteworthy:
But, in the lead up to President Trump’s possible withdrawal from the deal, [Steve] Doocy, co-host of the president’s favorite television program Fox & Friends, said, “If the deal went away, not only would the United States have to worry about the aggression from Iran in the region over there, but then they’d have to worry about the nuke problem as well.” And [cohost Brian] Kilmeade noted that “at least they’re not spinning centrifuges. There is no proof that they’re building up a nuclear arsenal.” The admissions effectively acknowledge that the inspections regime that is a core part of the deal is in fact working, a position that has been held by proponents of the deal since its inception.
The cohosts even took care to point out how Trump could stay in the deal and save face. “There is another way forward, and I don't think that it would really anger any of the president's base,” Kilmeade said, before offering up his alternative (of giving the allies and Iran 60 days to improve the agreement).
Doocy added that that would give Trump the ability to be “a negotiator.”
DOOCY: He will negotiate with Europe. He will negotiate with our Congress, and then he says, “Look, I gave them six months, three months, whatever. They didn't do it. We're gone.” That way he could still appeal to his base. “I tried to fix it, I gave them a chance. It didn't work out.”
Not one of the hosts mentioned having had a change of heart. That, plus the fact that we know Fox pundits get their talking points from higher ups, suggests that a “globalist” Murdoch stepped in to send a last-ditch message to the Fan in Chief.
Too bad whoever it was waited so long. As the world knows, Trump pulled out of the deal later today.
Watch Trump’s Fox Friends change their tunes below, from the May 8, 2018 Fox & Friends, via Media Matters.
This was a low-risk move by Fox. The base will not in any case digest or remember this disjointed*, surreal, out-of-character segment, and on the other hand Fox could use the record of this acute, fleeting bout of cold feet to cover their rear ends, providing a degree of deniability in the likely event that this Iran derangement doesn’t turn out well. The delicately-served-up second thoughts of Doucy and Killmeade (who knows what Ainsley Earhardt was thinking?) were pusillanimous, feckless analogues of Ralph Peters’ sudden endorsement of Hillary just before the election.
*Re: disjointed: What is the “Iranian trade gap”? Was it a good thing Trump “blew up” the Climate Change accord? Is it smart to jerk around the DACA recipients? Mollie Hemingway says “it’s hard to say this was anything other than a bad deal”, but later Doucy showed that it’s not that hard by noting that the deal was preventing enrichment.
The Lizard of Oz can see that in the aftermath of The Great American Blunder, it will be best for his interests that Fox is not forever tied to the Orange Thing’s disgrace. I for one just cannot wait for Rupert to shuffle off and for the boys, secure in their legacy at last, to take to Fox ‘News’ with a wrecking ball.