It’s hard to know whether Fox really wants war with Iran, whether the propagandists think it will help Republicans get more power, whether it’s just a useful attack line against President Biden or all of the above.
Whatever the reason, four out of Fox's five Outnumbered hosts were definitely exploiting the Israel/Gaza tragedies to push for war – not that any of them said a word about suiting up and doing any fighting their own selves. The fifth cohost was repeatedly criticized by lead host Harris Faulkner.
Faulkner got the war party started. “Tension with the United States and Iran rapidly getting hotter by the day,” she began. “More than 20 Americans have been injured by drone attacks on their military bases inside Iraq and Syria. They are targeting military personnel and we knew this was coming.” That last part was said with open condemnation.
“And they have the proxy assets to do it,” Faulkner continued. Iranian-backed groups have hit us at least 13 times in just the past week. Iran already warned Israel it would attack if they invaded Gaza and now President Biden is upping the ante, at least with his words, issuing a stark warning toward the Islamic Republic that the United States will not tolerate attacks on American troops overseas.”
After playing a clip of Biden issuing that warning, Faulkner turned to guest cohost Marc Thiessen, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush. She all but asked him to go after Biden for not being more of a war hawk against Iran. “The president has been hit in recent days for more words than action and what I am prayerful about, is that he is taking some great action they cooked up in the Situation Room with a bevy of Pentagon officials and generals and they just can’t tell us,” she said.
“Well, I hope so,” Thiessen said. “He’s inching closer and closer to Donald Trump’s policy, which was he drew a red line with Iran.” According to Thiessen, Glorious (and never mind treasonous) Trump said, “if you or one of your proxies kill a single American, we will take military action against Iran.”
Inching closer wasn’t good enough for “journalist” Faulkner. She exclaimed, pointedly, “Our men and women have been hurt, we’re told at least two dozen! So what does this red line look like? Is it perforated? Is it dotted?”
Thiessen took the hint. “We’ve got 30 Americans dead in Israel, people taken hostage and no consequences,” he said. But when Glorious (and treasonous) Trump was president, “he drew the red line. If you kill an American, we're gonna strike at you and you’re gonna pay the price. And when they crossed that line, he killed Qasem Soleimani and said, ‘I’ve picked out 52 targets in honor of the 52 hostages you took in 1979 and if you retaliate, I’m gonna strike Iran proper.’” Thiessen went on to claim that the Iranians backed down and “peace broke out.”
FACT CHECK: The attack did not deter further Iranian aggression. The country continued to launch attacks against U.S. interests and allies in the Middle East.
You may be shocked to know that “journalist” Faulkner did not correct Thiessen. So, he continued, “The lesson is, bullies back down when they face overwhelming force. And the reason why Iran is not backing down is because they think Joe Biden is more fearful of escalation than they are.” He urged Biden to reiterate Trump’s “red line.”
Faulkner gave her stamp of approval. “I appreciate you so much taking us back through what we all lived through as Americans during the Trump administration.” For extra MAGA credit, she added that Trump "also holds the distinction” of being the only president in the modern era that “Russia didn’t go to war with one of its neighbors under.”
“Very true,” Thiessen agreed.
Um, only in the most literal sense. Russia seized Ukraine in 2014, under President Barack Obama, but Trump more or less gave it his blessing and did nothing to help Ukraine reclaim the territory. Also, Trump is widely seen by experts as having enabled Russia’s later invasion of Ukraine. That’s in addition to the many, many other times Trump was soft on Russia.
#LyingKayleighMcEnany did her part for the propaganda. “We have already had many service members injured from Iran. So where exactly is the red line? It seems pretty weak at this moment," she said.
Democrat Marie Harf was the one not on board with the war party. Harf, formerly of the U.S. State Department, was the only cohost with actual experience in foreign relations. But she and was not treated with the respect she deserved. She pointed out that the Biden administration gave a clear warning to Iran, but that the situation is “a tinder box.” “Our goal should be to tell that Iran we will hold them responsible but to not ignite a further conflict that puts Israel over action,” she said.
“So, you’re in favor of words over action,” Faulkner scolded.
“I’m in favor of both,” Harf shot back.
Faulkner continued, “You know who decides if they make it wider? Iran. I mean, Hezbollah has more than 100,000 rockets.”
“Every party gets a vote in this war and I think words actually do matter in conflict,” Harf said, holding her ground.
“Well, the people on the ground don’t get a vote,” “journalist” Faulkner sneered.
Cohost Emily Compagno weighed in. According to Fox News’ bio, she has not a single credential in foreign policy. But that didn’t stop her from declaring, without offering any evidence, “I’m pretty confident that our enemies are laughing all the way to the bank,” and, “more insidiously, they’re laughing all the way to their attacks.” Compagno also reiterated her bogus suggestion that it’s Biden fault there’s no ambassador to Israel.
Later, Compagno said, “I personally have no confidence, no faith in [Biden] as commander-in-chief. My fear and my anxiety deepen with my loved ones being deployed under his watch and I can’t imagine how other families feel.”
“You laid that out so beautifully,” Faulkner gushed.
Faulkner was not finished denigrating Harf. “Are you OK with us just sitting by?” Faulkner "asked."
"Sitting by" was not at all what Harf said, which she pointed out. She asked Compagno what she wants Biden to do right not?
Faulkner jumped in: “Fighting for our people. … Don’t let it happen again.”
Thiessen said we should “take out” pockets of Hezbollah.
Well, as it turns out, the U.S. struck two Iran-linked targets in Syria Thursday night, just hours after Outnumbered aired. The New York Times reported the U.S. “carried out two airstrikes against facilities used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and its proxies in eastern Syria early Friday in retaliation for a flurry of recent rocket and drone attacks against American forces in Iraq and Syria."
But don’t expect that to quell the “concern” on Fox or from “action, not words” Faulkner. Because they all know – including “journalist” Faulkner, unless she’s astoundingly stupid - that their job is to propagandize, not offer legit insight or enlightening opinion.
You can watch the warmongering below, from the October 26, 2023 Outnumbered. And, by the way, if the U.S. should go to war with Iran, you can best believe the Foxies will start attacking his handling of it and blame him for getting the U.S. into a war they once salivated for, too.
Given his support for W’s Iraq invasion, Thiessen has no more credibility than the Fox crew (and Trump himself!) to opine on Mideast affairs; but past record, if embarrassing, is of no account to MAGA minions. Given whatever credibility he might have left, Thiessen is derelict in wasting this opportunity to criticise fellow Republicans who are soft on Putin.