While current Attorney General William Barr feigns independence from Donald Trump, Fox News is suggesting that a Department of Justice not working on Trump’s behalf is one that’s working improperly against him.
Yesterday, Media Matters noted that right-wing media “immediately seized on the announcement that former deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe will not face criminal charges to generate outrage” and push for pardons of Trump cronies Roger Stone and Michael Flynn. Today, Fox host Neil Cavuto, who has been very critical of Trump, specifically calling out his dishonesty and attempts to bend the media to his will, now painted Trump as a big victim.
Never mind that, unlike Flynn and Stone, McCabe was never convicted of any crime. Clearly, there wasn’t even enough evidence to prosecute McCabe. But Fox and Whitaker are suggesting an equivalence because, they want you to think, McCabe should have been prosecuted. Conviction is a given, apparently. Not surprisingly, the FoxNews.com article about the decision not to prosecute McCabe takes great pains to suggest he was guilty, while providing almost none of the information indicating otherwise.
This morning, Cavuto’s first question signaled what was to come: “Many around the president are saying there does seem to be a double standard here. You know you have the case of Andy McCabe, who has lied repeatedly to Congress, gets off the hook with no criminal investigation, no criminal charges, and yet his former national security advisor lying to Congress facing potentially up to nearly a decade in prison. What do you make of that?”
“I think there appears to be a double standard in those two cases,” Whitaker whined. “They are fundamentally the exact same fact pattern. Andy McCabe was interviewed by FBI investigators, was not truthful, lacked candor, as the IG found out. General Flynn was approached by the FBI at the White House, asked questions, and he was also ultimately determined to not be telling the truth, and so these fact patterns are substantially similar.”
Whitaker suggested there is popular support for a Flynn pardon by saying he was asked “by a random person in an airport that said why is there a double standard” at the Department of Justice? He added, “Bill Barr is the right person to bring sort of symmetry to these types of cases, and I think ultimately the General Flynn case is going to be the exemplar where we look at whether or not those that are in contravention to the president are treated differently under this justice system than those that are supportive of the president. I hope that’s not the case.”
“I’m concerned long term about the credibility of the Department of Justice,” Whitaker claimed, with a straight face. But he has zero concern about Trump interference in the DOJ’s workings. “It is best if the Department of Justice is allowed to prosecute its criminal cases without interference from politics, but at the same time, all of the Department of Justice power and authority is derivative of the president’s executive powers under the Constitution,” Whitaker said.
Whitaker acknowledged that maybe Trump’s tweets about DOJ cases don’t look so good. But Whitaker was very, very careful to praise Trump, not to criticize him. “The president has been very effective by using Twitter to communicate his messages.” Whitaker said. “If you were the Attorney General, like Bill Barr is currently, you wouldn’t want the president weighing in, but at the same time, the president has every right to say what’s on his mind and speak.” He later added, “This president I think has done a lot of positive things with his Twitter account, and there are some times where you wish he wouldn’t weigh in.”
It would be great to know just which Trump tweets Whitaker thinks are so positive.
Cavuto got back to the main message: “If you’re right about how curious this looks, going after, you know, Michael Flynn, not going after Andy McCabe for, essentially, the same criminal lying, then that would seem to imply that a Justice Department that still – still, more than three years into this president, has it out for him.”
Cavuto asked if Whitaker agreed.
Surprisingly, Whitaker said, “Ultimately, I don’t." He added, “The vast majority of the 110,000 employees, including FBI agents and prosecutors at the Department of Justice are doing justice and neutral and independent of any political bias. Unfortunately, we see very small examples where the facts seem to suggest that there is a political animus towards this president. It needs to be eliminated.” He said that’s what Barr is working on (in his investigations into the investigators).
You can watch Fox help Trump destroy our democracy and our democratic institutions below, from the February 15, 2020 Cavuto Live.
Whitaker is cowardly refusing to defend all the men and women at DoJ. No, Cavuto is singling out a few political cases which hit the headlines and criticize clinical narcissist Trump who’s flown into a rage over them. Whitaker is taking the coward’s way out and agreeing that any prosecutor who points out Trump’s corruption is a worry, a bad egg. He’s justifying loyal lackeys Barr and Durham ignoring an IG report to desperately dig for dirt to protect the Mango Menace in the White House.
Fox News “Thought Police” are sending a clear message to DoJ employees: Your loyalty to “The Party” is foremost. Protect “Big Brother” or face a purge.
Puts me in the mood to play my copy of Cheap Trick’s “Dream Police”.
“I try to sleep, they’re wide awake, they won’t leave me alone.
They don’t get paid to take vacations, or let me alone.
They spy on me, I try to hide, they won’t let me alone.
They persecute me, they’re the judge and jury all in one.”
I’m re-reading Orwell’s “1984” and it’s chilling to realise how important a role FNC has played in furthering authoritarian instincts. The situation of Oceania is eerily similar to the foreseeable outcome of inclinations within Trump’s GOP (I mean, really, he actually told his followers to believe only what he says or what they hear on Fox!! And with his inclination to lie and misconstrue, the end result is doublethink). Almost every Fox show ends up resembling the daily “2-minute hates” and periodic “hate weeks”, and there’s that constant focus on rewriting the past. And that’s not even the full list of similarities.
Many aspects of today’s world already resemble the situation described in the book: rising inequality (aka favoritism for the few); rising repression and capillary monitoring of opposition; the use of fear to foster hatred and acceptance of the status quo. The list goes on and on.
Never thought I’d be so deeply grateful to the internet and to sites like this one where facts are facts and where the discussions are based on logic and reason (2 plus 2 is 4, cazzo!). CNN may not have been on the ball during the 2016 election, but they are being fairly diligent in getting the facts out there by airing videos from the past and taking due note of the lies and misstatements. It does get a bit boring but it’s essential and doubters should go on the internet for confirmation or rebuttal, not the the Liar in Chief and his minions.
The recent development of fake videos is a cause for concern.
Unsurprisingly, this litany of Trump grievances overlooks many facts. Like the story circulating months ago that the DoJ couldn’t even get a grand jury to indict McCabe. You know, those grand juries that can indict ham sandwiches. Similar to the Stone case I recall one prosecutor quitting the DoJ in protest and others asking to be reassigned.
But who needs ‘fake news’ media reports by actual journalists when we have Matt Whitaker here giving an authoritatively sourced encounter with some stranger in a restroom… or an airport… or an airport restroom… whatever?
This segment – like most on Fox News – is nothing more than Cavuto trying to do a reach-around on Trump and asking Whitaker for a helping hand.
We have the possibility of using different titles for what appears as the headline on the site and what search engines have and those are supposed to be truncated. I not infrequently truncate the wrong headline. I believe it is fixed now. Thanks for catching that.