The day after this week's deadly Amtrak train crash, House Republicans cut Amtrak’s funding and refused to provide additional funds for equipment that might have prevented the crash. But have no fear, GOP! Fox host Megyn Kelly and her sycophantic colleague, Chris Stirewalt, are there to help rehab your image!
House Republicans voted Wednesday to chop about a fifth of Amtrak’s budget, less than a day after a deadly train crash that Democrats pointed to as a prime example of the dangers of shortchanging the nation’s transportation needs.
They also rebuffed Democrats’ attempts to provide money for an advanced speed-control technology that federal investigators later said would have prevented the crash.
“Based on what we know right now, we feel that had such a system been installed in this section of track, this accident would not have occurred,” National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt told reporters Wednesday evening. Sumwalt, who is leading the crash probe, spoke hours after the House Appropriations Committee voted down a Democratic amendment that would have offered $825 million for the technology known as positive train control.
So who’s the GOP gonna call? Fox News!
Megyn Kelly kicked off a lengthy discussion on the subject by saying, “Some folks decided to turn this tragedy into a political talking point.”
Of course, she was not talking about Donald Trump’s exploitation, but Democrats who thought the crash illustrated the problem of the US’ crumbling infrastructure.
Kelly scolded, “The political finger-pointing continued without pause.” As if it ever does at Fox.
After Kelly played some clips of Democrats talking about the importance of infrastructure, she sighed dramatically and said, “Really?”
Stirewalt wasn't just scandalized, he was ready to suggest that the real danger to America is not crumbling infrastructure but Democrats with opinions.
STIREWALT: That is reckless and so far I have not seen any consequence for the people who have trafficked in this you-know-what.
…Today, a lot of elected officials, including the mayor of the largest city in America, made broad accusations, putting blood on the hands of Republican budget wonks for not funding Amtrak adequately. That was reckless! That was endangering the civil discourse in America. And if that’s where we’re starting, where do you go from there? What’s the next step after that for goodness sakes?
Just last week, Megyn Kelly was a vehement advocate for free speech on behalf of Pamela Geller’s anti-Muslim stunt – that actually did endanger people. Now, not so much. Kelly didn’t utter a peep of protest to Stirewalt’s suggestion that Democrats should be punished for speaking out.
Instead, Kelly murmured her agreement – and made like the lack of positive train control had nothing to do with funding.
KELLY: What’s really nuts about it, is the only infrastructure from what we’re seeing now that may have stopped that crash is – it’s called the positive train control… and Congress had already mandated that that be installed and it’s being installed on all these tracks, they just hadn’t gotten to this particular track yet and according to our information, that wasn’t driven by a lack of funding. It just takes a while. They just passed it in the recent past after this other accident so they were working on it!
Stirewalt went back to lecturing Democrats to hold their tongues.
STIREWALT: Here’s the thing and this is why this should concern us all, beyond just this accident, beyond anything else. We have a total inability to talk about what matters right now and we have a total inability to focus on the thing that is at hand. In this moment it is deal with what happened, get the facts and then come to conclusions. If we’re gonna put the cart before the horse every single time, guess what? Real problems don’t get solved because we’re gonna spend all our time fighting over the phony stuff.
But Stirewalt’s sensitivity is laughable considering that Fox never lets a tragedy delay its own political finger pointing. The night last December when two NYPD officers were shot and killed, Fox host Jeanine Pirro and guest Bernard Kerik wasted no time blaming President Obama, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Al Sharpton. Why? For speaking out on behalf of #BlackLivesMatter protesters. The day of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, I counted seven ways the Outnumbered cohosts exploited the tragedy to smear political foes. The next day, The Kelly File used the tragedy to attack Obama about Benghazi.
Watch the hypocrisy below, from last night’s The Kelly File. (H/T Crooks and Liars for the video)