If ever you needed direct proof that Fox & Friends cares more about the interests of Donald Trump than anything else, watch the three cohosts ignore the interests of their own Fox News colleagues as they repeatedly promote White House talking points as it moves to restrict access in press briefings.
Yesterday, White House Correspondents Association president Jeff Mason appeared on Fox & Friends to discuss the Trump administration’s decision to restrict recordings of press briefings. Mason noted that he represented Fox News correspondents as well as others in advocating for the right to record. But the three Trump Friends could not have cared less.
“The question is, do the American people really care about how many on-camera press briefings are held?” Cohost Pete Hegseth “asked.” He added, "If the goal is information, why does it matter whether it’s televised or audio? You know reporters make names for themselves by grandstanding in these briefings. If you’re still getting the information, why does it matter whether the camera’s pointed forward?”
As Mason explained and Hegseth almost surely knew already, audio and video are crucial for broadcast journalists. Furthermore, Mason pointed out, it serves the public to be able to watch the interaction between the reporters and the White House spokesperson.
Nevertheless, Mason called Hegseth’s comment “a good question” but also diplomatically noted that this was a Trump administration talking point. “It’s a question that the White House has also raised,” Mason said.
Hegseth kept pushing for Trump. “If people are getting the information, I don’t fully understand why the president and the White House doesn’t have the prerogative to push back.”
Mason replied that he was sure that some other Fox people would disagree. “I can tell you that I’m representing your network as well as many others when I speak to [the White House] in saying that we would like to be able to have the possibility to have those briefings be on camera…That is a visual opportunity for people to see democracy in action.”
“I think we can all agree on that,” cohost Abby Huntsman said. But she went on to “ask” whether “any changes need to be made” because, she claimed, the briefings have turned into a reality show.
Mason said that he represents the journalists but that he’s open to hearing criticism. Then he had to fight from being interrupted as he continued, “The principle that we are fighting for here is transparency and that’s why we’re requesting and arguing and advocating for those briefings to be open.”
Transparency is so not a concern of these three "news" hosts. Cohost Clayton Morris deliberately tried to suggest that transparency, access and democracy are not in the public interest. “You represent the interests of the correspondents. The White House has its own message it wants to get out,” Morris said. “Who in that room, then, is representing the American people?”
Despite Morris’ suggestion otherwise, the one group that definitely does not represent the American people is Fox & Friends.
Hegseth closed the discussion by getting in a dig at Mason’s group, saying, “Ultimately, the American people will have the last vote as to who’s protecting their interests and we thank you for coming on and bringing your side.”
Watch Hegseth, Huntsman and Morris show whose side they’re on below, from the June 25, 2017 Fox & Friends.
Is it actually possible Roger Ailes was the only thing giving this network even the thinnest veneer of a news station? It’s getting far worse by the month, leaning into trainwreck Trump, and trying to convert all of our lives into the Real Housewives of Nowhere. I almost expect a banner of “Scheduled Melania/Ivanka Oval Office Catight! Live coverage with Chris Wallace at 6.”
How incredibly fortunate for FNC that a President was elected that represents the exact best interests of every single voice at the network on every single issue! And I mean it’s just the opposite, of course. Every single voice at the network representing the exact best interests of the President on every single issue. Because that’s clearly a great idea, Trump or no Trump.
Now, during the time when Ed Henry was the head of the WHCA, he was given plenty of deferential interviews from Fox News where they cheered him on for repeatedly haranguing the Obama White House press secretaries with Right Wing talking points. If the Obama White House had inflicted this kind of press restriction, Fox News would have had a conniption fit like we’ve never seen, and Ed Henry would have been on every single Fox News show to decry this total assault on our democracy. But since it’s the Pence White House playing these games, Fox News is now on the side of the restrictors.
And let’s be clear as to why the Pence White House is trying to stop anyone from recording the press briefings. It has nothing to do with communicating any more clearly than before. It’s frankly about Sean Spicer’s complete failure to handle this job. From the beginning, Spicer has presented himself as an enraged kid brother to Trump, regularly screaming and jumping up and down to make himself look bigger and tougher to the other kids on the playground. It’s the equivalent of a cartoon where the strongman is reduced to miniature size and continues running around screaming in a high pitched voice to everyone’s amusement. Unfortunately for Spicer, his own inadequacy was exponentially magnified by Melissa McCarthy’s spot-on portrayal of him on SNL. So the country’s impression of Spicer (and these press briefings) has become a bit of a joke, and it’s clear that Trump is unhappy to see that happen. Where another White House would likely have just replaced Spicer with a competent person, the Pence White House is unable to admit mistakes, so they’ve doubled down. And they’ve had encouragement from Newt Gingrich, who advised them that they don’t even need to have these briefings anyway.
The concern of the Pence White House is really about not wanting the country to see too much of how this group is behaving, particularly with Trump constantly embarrassing himself on Twitter. A daily spectacle of Spicer yelling at the press and stumbling when called on his false statements was simply proving to be too much of a drag on their numbers, so the hope is that by getting Spicer off TV, they can somehow arrest their fall. Sadly for the Pence White House, this approach is being seen for what it is, no matter how hard they try to spin it.
Before they died, my in-laws often related how Hitler and the Nazi party rose to power. My mother-in-law was in Hitler youth and my father-in-law fought in the German army.
The similarities between Hitler and Head full of Dippity Doo and his co-horts are chilling. (yeah, I’m old enough to remember Dippity Doo-from the 60’s)
Living on the Space Coast of Florida, I’ve also run into a lot of adult descendants of the Nazi rocket scientists living here that have also expressed concerns about the ascendancy of the right wing in this country.
This is all very troubling and I’m worried that all this will get out of hand if people don’t come to their senses and start to pull back from the brink. My father-in-law to his dying day thought that Hitler was a great leader despite the carnage and deaths of friends and family and my mother-in-laws forced walk through a death camp to view the remains of the ovens and mass graves. I truly believe that what Trump said is true. He could shoot someone and his supporters would not care. He’d still be a great leader in their eyes. Scary.