When Fox News talking heads know they can’t outright defend the wildly disrespectful Jared Schmeck’s comment to President Joe Biden, they deflect to liberal-demonizing whataboutism. Updated 12/28/21
As you’ve undoubtedly heard by now, Schmeck used a Christmas Eve phone call with President Biden to tell him “Let’s go, Brandon,” a right-wing meme and euphemism for “F*** Joe Biden.” Despite boasting about his insult on YouTube, the aptly-named Schmeck is now playing the victim, claiming he was only joking and is “being attacked for utilizing my freedom of speech.”
But I agree with CNN analyst Ron Brownstein who said Schmeck’s remarks were not just ungracious, juvenile and reprehensible but are really about insurrection. "The whole 'Let's Go Brandon' kind of motif is a reflection of the view of two-thirds of the Republican base driven by Trump's false claims and the Big Lie that Biden is an illegitimate president," he said. “This is a manifestation not just of incivility, but of the fundamental view of the illegitimacy and the ominous shores that we're kind of sailing toward very quickly in 2022 and especially 2024.”
There to help further the victimization - and incite and inflame is Fox News. The Daily Beast’s Justin Baragona caught the effort on today’s Outnumbered show.
LAUREN SIMONETTI (FOX BUSINESS NETWORK ANCHOR) Do you remember the woman who was cycling next to the Trump motorcade back in 2017? She gave him her middle finger? OK, she did lose her job because she posted those images on social media but then she was elected to local office in Loudoun County, Virginia. So, you have the NORAD dad of four, police officer, you know, getting these threats for making a joke, which he sort of apologized for. And then you have the Donald Trump motorcade flicker, you know, now a politician.
In the first place, Schmeck is a former police officer who refuses to say why he resigned from the force. More importantly, Schmeck did not “sort of apologize” for his smear. He lied about what he was up to: As Pakalolo at Daily Kos notes, Schmeck likely planned his “joke,” he almost certainly lied about his claim to have no animosity to President Biden and he probably lied when he claimed he’s not a Trumper. And Schmeck made himself the victim.
Also, “newswoman” Simonetti acted as though the woman who lost her job for flipping off Trump suffered no consequences.
Not that cohost Carley Shimkus pointed out any of that to the Fox News viewers. Instead, just two days after she talked up the importance of keeping Christ in Christmas, Shimkus asked for the whataboutism hostility to continue.
SHIMKUS: There was also Madonna, “I’ve had thoughts about blowing up the White House” or whatever she said. So, you know you compare the two. Some people don’t like whataboutisms. I’m not one of those people. By all means, continue on with this conversation, Cheryl [Casone].
Good to know that Shimkus is just fine with whataboutism. Because while she thinks the media is unfairly attacking Schmeck for deliberately insulting and demeaning President Biden, what about the time that Shimkus attacked Vice President Kamala for tweeting “Enjoy the long weekend,” over Memorial Day weekend? At that time, Shimkus’ fee fees were so highly sensitive that she claimed Harris’ tweet was “one of the reasons, I think President Trump won in 2016 is because the country just experienced eight years of those kinds of messages.” Yet Shimkus did not resign when, one day later, Tucker Carlson, her own colleague, explicitly and deliberately smeared the military on Memorial Day, saying, it “does not seem interested in protecting the country.”
Nor did Shimkus explain why, if the country was sick of Obama not being pro-America enough, his vice president, Joe Biden, had just soundly defeated "pro-America" Trump in November. But that would have involved admitting Trump lost, just a few months before Shimkus got a big promotion.
You can watch Shimkus and Simonetti help delegitimize Biden’s presidency (while pretending to “only” delegitimize the media) below, from the December 27, 2021 Outnumbered, via Baragona.
UPDATE: Yesterday, "not a Trumper" Schmeck put on a MAGA hat and schmoozed with Steve Bannon about how the 2020 election was stolen.
12/29/21 Correction: As reader Kevin Koster notes below, "Let's go, Brandon" stands for "F**k Joe Biden," not "F**k you, Biden," as I originally wrote.
Also, don't sleep on the one Fox Business host trying to make the case that there's a double standard over the criticism Jared Schmeck has received by citing the cyclist who flipped off Trump -- only to note that the woman actually lost her job after the incident. pic.twitter.com/ATIhO6Iigd— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) December 27, 2021
Regarding Dave Ramsey, I’ll note that there is a fascinating podcast that has covered much of the seamier side of his organization. It’s called Untangled Faith and it’s the work of Amy Fritz, whose husband was a tech employee of Ramsey until 2019, when neither of them could stand it any longer – and that was before COVID. Fritz and her husband are not liberal or Left Wing by any means. But they are honest and clearly sincere about their beliefs. Fritz’s discussions make clear that Ramsey’s practices are anything but sincere. Ramsey presents himself as a devout Fundamentalist on the air – but his actual conduct indicates that he’s simply found a more lucrative business model than the one that drove him into bankruptcy in his prior iteration.
Regarding the slur, which actually isn’t “F you Biden” but rather “F Joe Biden”, it’s interesting to see the same angry Right Wingers pushing it that previously were scandalized that anyone would say anything less than fawning about Pence’s childish former spokesman. It’s not just an expression of sneering contempt. It’s fair to call the slur a continuation of angry Right Wingers’ doubling down on the 2020 Election they lost.
Pretty sure a world war could break out in the next ten minutes, and defending the hosts that did that will still be their top priority.