I suspect Rupert Murdoch and/or Donald Trump have given Fox News talking heads their marching orders to support Kevin McCarthy for speaker, denounce the disarray and never mind that Fox did a lot to create it.
I’ve written three posts for Crooks and Liars in the past two days about Fox News complaints about the stunning disfunction in the Republican-majority House: Yesterday, Karl Rove blasted the obstructionist Republican Freedom Caucus and called what was then three failed votes (it’s now six) for speaker “an utter, unmitigated disaster.” Later that same day, Greg Gutfeld tried to blame television coverage but he also admitted, “It’s just bad. It’s like Republicans read a book by the Democrats saying how to really screw up your party.” Today, Fox Business host Stuart Varney lost patience with RNC chair Ronna McDaniel and said, “it’s utter chaos and the Republican party has been shamed, frankly. Hasn’t it?”
Media Matters did a roundup of right-wing media coverage of the speaker debacle and found that the disarray in the House Republican caucus is also reflected in conservative media:
While far-right outlets like OAN and Infowars attack speaker candidate Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as a “China-owned CCP RINO” and a “hollow man,” Fox personalities called the congressman's opponents — who have now blocked his nomination six times — “selfish” and “shortsighted.”
Some Fox News examples, via Media Matters:
- Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade said: “If you don't like Kevin McCarthy you’re not going to like Steve Scalise and vice versa. This is a waste of our time.”
- Fox host Sean Hannity justified his support for McCarthy’s candidacy’s candidacy, saying, “Sometimes you have to think through politics. Now, McCarthy has publicly laid out his Commitment to America plan. That is exactly the America First, MAGA agenda that so many of you I know like.”
- Fox host Tucker Carlson praised McCarthy for being “perfectly suited” to navigate a closely divided House, claiming he is “skilled in politics.” He also commended McCarthy for being the only one who has “stepped forward” to “spend the next two years living in hotel rooms raising money for his party ahead of a historic presidential election.”
- Fox host Laura Ingraham questioned the intentions of Republicans who are blocking McCarthy’s nomination: “Blocking McCarthy — again, no one’s as conservative as I want them to be, but blocking McCarthy, how does that get you to a place where you block the pro-war coalition or the pro-China coalition or the pro-free trade or pro-open borders? I’m not sure how that gets you there.”
It's probably not a mere coincidence that the Murdochs' New York Post and Donald Trump also support McCarthy for speaker. Tucker Carlson's attack on McCarthy supporters suggests his praise for McCarthy might not be how he truly feels.
In any event, the Murdochs’ Fox and Trump helped create the mess they now rail against. Trump not only allied himself with the Freedom Caucus, he made member Mark Meadows his chief of staff and awarded member Jim Jordan the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
I guarantee you that once the speaker chaos is resolved, Fox will be cheering on Jordan and the Freedom Caucus’ mischief as they try to destroy the Biden administration, the FBI and the DOJ, and God knows what else.
You can watch Varney rip a hapless McDaniel below, from Fox Business Network’s January 4, 2023 Varney & Co., via Crooks and Liars.
Hannity went out of his way to challenge Boebert on the air, making his own rather nonsensical “point” that over 200 Right Wingers support McCarthy. (He forgot to mention that 212 Dems support Jeffries. Did Hannity mean to say that Jeffries should be declared Speaker, since he has the most votes?)
The trashing of the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Pence’s childish former spokesman is one of the malfeasances of the Pence White House that could most easily be corrected. Pence’s childish former spokesman actually tossed that Medal away on three separate people who should never have been allowed to get anywhere near such an award: Jordan, Devin Nunes and unrepentant bigot Rush Limbaugh.
Decent people have been urging the Biden/Harris White House for two years to address the Medal problem by redesignating the award. The simple and appropriate way to go would be to create a new Medal of Freedom and Distinction. And then grandfather in all prior recipients of the Medal of Freedom other than Jordan, Nunes, Limbaugh and Paul Harvey. That way, the next Maya Angelou will not be forced to share the stage with the likes of Limbaugh.