Is there no subject that Fox News won’t turn to discredited birther Donald Trump as an expert? Fresh off his gig as an authority on Iran and the Keystone pipeline (not to mention his continuing “expertise” on President Obama and the 2012 election), Greta Van Susteren sought his insights into the killing of Osama bin Laden – as a thinly veiled excuse to attack Obama. But first, Van Susteren gave Rush Limbaugh’s hideous misogyny a pass and promoted him as a maven on the U.S. economy - i.e. other attacks on the Obama administration.
Van Susteren made news not long ago when her boycott of Louis C.K. as host of Radio and Television Correspondents Association Dinner caused him to withdraw. Van Susteren called him a “pig” for denigrating women – though his digs at Sarah Palin were the only examples Van Susteren highlighted.
But somehow Van Susteren has been mostly unconcerned about how Limbaugh denigrates women. A few recent examples via Media Matters:
Most famously, there were his 46 personal attacks on Sandra Fluke; he apologized for two words.
Nevertheless, Limbaugh's conservative comments are highlighted as credible many nights on On The Record without any comment from Van Susteren about his attacks on women.
Van Susteren introduced “businessman extraordinaire” Trump (just pay no attention to those four bankruptcies) and listened attentively as Trump complained that the U.S. is “like the dumb bully” in the world. I’m sure Trump’s bogus birtherism – and its relentless promotion on an American cable news channel – didn’t exactly help our reputation. But the thought never seems to cross Van Susteren’s mind. Instead, she probed for Trump’s thoughts on a time when the U.S. was more respected.
After trying (and failing) to get Trump to attack the federal government over the GSA scandal, she turned to Trump’s Twitter feed that just so happened to focus on digs at Obama and his administration. First, she seized on one of Trump’s retweets: Admiral McRaven had full operational control of the Bin Laden mission. Barack Obama gave vague directions.
“What are you tweeting about?” Van Susteren prompted asked.
Trump took the bait. “When a group of very, very talented generals or whoever it may be says… ‘We have Osama Bin Laden. We have him.’ …One of three things is gonna happen. Leave him alone. Go with a missile or go in and get him. Now, I think almost anybody would have made the decision to go in and get him or go in with a missile… I think a lot of credit is being given – and credit should be given to a certain extent. But anybody sitting in that office would have, I believe, made the same decision - meaning, one of those two things.”
In fact, it has been reported that Obama’s military aides were divided about which of those two things to do. As The Daily News reported:
President Obama’s military aides were divided over a bombing mission — which would have left no evidence that Bin Laden had been killed — or risking the lives of commandos in a raid that could be for nothing.
But Van Susteren didn’t mention that. Instead, she moved on to another “particularly intriguing” tweet of Trump’s, this time saying that the government should focus on more important matters than Sen. John Edwards' campaign finance trial. Of course, that was another opportunity for Trump to attack the Obama administration – and to find a new area of expertise: jurisprudence. Trump opined. “This is a very, very tough trial to start off with and a lot of people are saying it’s not a trial the government’s going to win… They’re spending months and years on this case… I hate to see resources wasted to this extent.”
Trump can say whatever the hell he wants to, but NBCUniversal is under no obligation to provide him any sort of forum from which to earn money.