Donald Trump's G-20 meeting with Vladimir Putin sent Fox News pundits into a frenzy of hate mongering about their fellow Americans who dare to criticize Dear Leader.
Fox's seething smearfest began with a clip of Democratic Senator Dick Durbin blasting Trump as less knowledgeable and less experienced than Putin in the morning before their meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 in Germany yesterday.
Cohost Gillian Turner began, reasonably enough, by saying “it’s a little bit silly” to talk about the “psychology” of world leaders.
But guest Pet Hegseth ratcheted up the hate mongering to high as he suggested that all Democrats and “left-wing media” are traitors:
HEGSETH: The most effective arm of Russian propaganda has been the Democratic Party and the left-wing media in this country which has pushed that collusion narrative since the election and before it.
Someone off-camera agreed.
HEGSETH: Dick Durbin is a political hack. You have to consider the source on this. I guarantee you if we rolled tape of eight years ago when Barack Obama was on his apology tour, they would be lauding him for his new sophisticated, globalist, internationalist approach.
Or, when they gave him the Peace Prize? What a joke that was. The world’s aflame with millions dead as a result of all the policies that he never enforced because of a weak-kneed view of the world. And he gets a Peace prize!
So we forget how bad it was eight years ago and how much this president fawned, was fawned upon by the people who are now turning on President Trump because he takes a different perspective that the American people elected him to take.
This is a distortion of American opinion. Polls consistently show that Americans are concerned about Trump’s relationship with Russia and want an investigation into its role in the 2016 election.
But not one of the four cohosts challenged Hegseth’s spin. Instead, they validated it.
“Who cares what Dick Durbin has to say?” cohost Melissa Francis "asked." Which is pretty funny given that it was Fox News that was focusing on the subject.
“I don’t think many people do,” cohost Meghan McCain agreed. “Which is why he’s not a terribly relevant politician right now.” In fact, Durbin is the Democratic whip, making him the second-highest ranking Democrat in the Senate.
McCain continued the “Democrats hate America” meme – which served as a convenient excuse to spread her own hate for America.
MCCAIN: For those of us who have cared about Russia for a very long time, it’s interesting to see Democrats actually care all of a sudden because let me tell you we had a president for the last eight years – to say he didn’t care about Putin and his expansion into Crimea and the Ukraine is laughable. And then, by the way, nuclearize the Middle East with the Iran deal.
…I think going forward, it’s very difficult for me to take liberals and people on the left seriously on anything regarding Russia because they only cared what they manifested that it impacted their election.
Not surprisingly, Hegseth took it a step further and actually cheered Trump for attacking the American press while in Germany. “He’s not going around criticizing other politicians,” Hegseth argued by way of justification. Apparently, he completely forgot how Trump smeared Obama and John Podesta in Germany.
Nobody corrected Hegseth.
But McCain had more divisiveness to spread - in the name of patriotism. She started reading a list of Obama’s foreign policy "apology" comments before saying self-righteously, "I don't really care what President Trump says about the media overseas as long as he's not talking about America showing arrogance!"
See how much loathing and hostility Fox News pundits have toward America below, in a discussion from the July 7, 2017 Outnumbered.
Throughout President Obama’s terms, Fox News repeatedly attacked him for every single thing he said and did, with the only exception being the operation that killed Osama bin Laden. (Of course, Rush Limbaugh made a point of continuing his attacks on Obama even then, with a sarcastically overblown description about how President Obama must have done the whole operation by himself…)
The Far Right viciously resented that President Obama was more respected around the world than George W Bush or his enforcer, Dick Cheney. (I note that there are outstanding warrants for their arrest should they appear in various European cities, which is why we don’t hear about them travelling overseas anymore.) Obama did not go on an “apology tour”, much as the Right would like to paint it that way. He went on a series of visits to foreign countries who were appropriately concerned about the warmongering and torture that the W White House had engaged in over the prior few years. Obama’s discussions with those countries led to a breath of relief from the world, restored a lot of our credibility and obviously led directly to the Nobel commission giving that prize to him.
I find it interesting that Hegseth and McCain think they can make their viciousness and hatred somehow look reasoned if they holdsa pen in his hand while stating outright lies. (Hannity does this as well, and I have to believe it’s based on some kind of polling that showed their viewers think the speaker has more intelligence if they hold a pen and might be taking notes…) Hegseth and the Right’s resentment of President Obama being given the Nobel Peace Prize is pretty obvious here. They simply cannot stand that a President they hated was actually popular around the world and actually did work to restore our credibility and integrity after the disaster of the W years. I note that the “millions dead” were not a result of President Obama restoring our credibility and working with the rest of the world, but were instead a result of the massive regional destabilization caused by W’s foolhardy invasion of Iraq and his bumbling behavior in Afghanistan – both of which stemmed from decades of wrong-headed foreign policy going back to Ronald Reagan’s unfortunate adventures in the area. Hegseth clearly doesn’t understand this, but the situation is not that most people have turned on the Pence White House “because he takes a different perspective that the American people elected him to take.” The situation is that most people in America and around the world have been taken aback by the immaturity of Donald Trump, by his inability to do a job he said he wanted to do, and by the Pence White House’s clear and vicious isolationism. And Hegseth doesn’t get to rewrite the history on the election – the majority of the American people did not vote for this – it was a sliver of voters in the swing states that Pence was able to win by gaming the election and depressing millions of Dem votes.
Ellen is correct to note that it’s bizarre to hear these people trying to play the “I don’t care what you say anyway” game, when they’re spending this whole segment trying to attack Dick Durbin. If they didn’t care, they’d just ignore it.
McCain’s screed of course ignores that President Obama took multiple steps and made multiple statements regarding Russian behavior throughout his presidency. He worked at all levels to deal with Putin’s actions, and also to engage with the Russians (something that McCain clearly doesn’t understand, as it would require a much greater level of complexity than she appears capable of handling.) But McCain shows her hand when she openly supports Trump’s isolationism and xenophobia, and then says that “we are going to completely undo the legacy of the last eight years”. Because that’s the actual intent here – to erase the presidency of Barack Obama. Funny to hear McCain try to talk with a moral tone about the Left and Russia – one has to wonder if she’s ever actually heard anything from the actual Left in this country, such as Pacifica Radio and Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now.
McCain also lies about President Obama “arming the Middle East” as her way of getting around the fact that Trump’s vicious statements about American media were made while he was in Europe. (And that’s yet another embarrassment on top of the multitude of others we have endured from the Pence White House…) Hegseth gets into a weird lie about how Donald Trump was just criticizing the press for their coverage and how Trump wasn’t saying anything about other politicians. Which forgets how Trump was attacking President Obama, and how Trump and his people regularly continue to attack Hillary Clinton even today.
Interesting that McCain is full of righteous indignation about President Obama correctly noting how out of line the W administration had been in encouraging torture and warmaking and in demanding fealty from the rest of the world while it did so. She seems to have some kind of fixation on the word “arrogance.” Here’s a news flash for her – President Obama was addressing very real behavior problems and very real arrogance that we saw from the W White House and now from the Pence White House. If she doesn’t want to hear anyone call the Right on their “arrogance”, it would help to not show arrogance. Same thing applies about racism. If they don’t want to be called out for racism, then don’t say racist things.
Kennedy’s last statement is a marvel of hypocrisy. She claims the media and Dem politicians never criticized President Obama’s foreign policies – but that’s blatantly untrue. President Obama was regularly and roundly criticized, and not just from Fox News and AM Radio where there was an obvious agenda to obstruct and dismiss him. But while Kennedy is making this statement, she’s forgetting that the Right Wing press demanded allegiance and obedience from everyone else to W and now to Trump, because they wanted to support their home team. The only real criticism I saw from the Right of the W presidency was that they wanted him to pardon Ramos & Compean so they could encourage more Border Patrol agents to shoot border crossers. But when it came to bread and butter issues, we were repeatedly told by these people – “You’re either with us or you’re with the terrorists!” Kennedy shows a lot of gall in trying to ignore and rewrite this history. (On the other hand, Kennedy’s own documented prior demonstrations of her ignorance may explain this…)
Finally, it’s interesting to hear these guys trying to talk up Trump’s vicious partisan rally in Poland as though it were an example of historical scholarship. McCain’s final comment about how the Left is somehow “hysterical” is bizarre in and of itself. Would she prefer that we simply note that Donald Trump regularly acts like a small child (as she herself noted during the campaign) and note that this is a dangerous notion when that person is ostensibly in charge of our military?
Fox “News” is poison.
Ellen, you’re too kind to this pack of sycophantic idiots. Not only did Fox News use Ablow to psychoanalyze President Obama, don’t forget the crackpot GOPTV™ body language expert who’s still around to glorify Trump (and bash Obama in his day):
More importantly, notice the bobble-heads in this segment don’t journey beyond the tired ‘apology tour’ right-wing smears of Obama to actually explore Trump’s performance at G20. No, it’s a trip down right-wing memory lane to compare the Obama stereotypes conservatives share to hate Obama contrasted to Donald ‘Low Bar’ Trump – with the aid of some lipstick provided by GOPTV™ – can’t do any worse.
Why not look at the actual meeting? Because G20 clearly proved it was the pros from Russia versus the amateurs from America:
Rookie mistake 1: No note takers. So we have he said/he said. Typically, what Putin said would have no credibility outside of Russia but Trump is deemed so untrustworthy few outside the right-wing media bubble will take The Donald’s word. Jackass Tillerson bombed the presser after the meeting and didn’t directly refute Trump’s total cave on Russia election meddling.
Rookie mistake 2: No extra witnesses. Previous administrations had additional experts like the National Security Advisor in the room. Trump only had fellow trainee Tillerson as a safety net.
Rookie mistake 3: Poor prep work. Donald has a 3 1/2 minute attention span so his staff only prepped him with a few short pages of one-line talking points. The problem? The agenda of the planned 30-40 minute meeting was dictated during the meeting by Putin who expertly took Trump off script by dragging him into details he was unprepared to handle. That means Trump had to ad lib for 1 1/2 hours. We all know The Donald doesn’t ad lib well.
Rookie mistake 4: Trump has been pretty clear his ego can’t handle the notion he was helped by Russian election hackers. Worse, he telegraphed to Putin his inner turmoil the day before with an embarrassing statement admitting there might be hacking with some mealy mouth confusion anyone could have been behind it. So how easy was it for Vlad to swat it down like a one wing fly given Trump’s narcissism, ineptitude and incoherence?
Rookie mistake 5: We held all the cards going into the room but lost to the weaker hand. Russia wants sanctions lifted. They’re fearful of sanctions working through Congress. They want to reemerge as a super-power on the world stage. They’re the ones with all the nasty baggage: Crimea annexation, a Ukraine proxy war, backing bloody dictator Asad in Syria, Georgia, etc. What’s the outcome? Putin leaves the meeting smiling. It’s all forgiven, let’s move forward. Trump gets a largely meaningless ceasefire in the part of Syria seeing the least action.
So now you know why these Fox News clowns only want to compare straw man Obama to Trump with a lipstick makeover. While completely ignoring the substance of Trump’s G20 meeting with Putin.