After Cassidy Hutchinson told the January 6 committee about violent behavior by Donald Trump, FNC anchor Martha MacCallum tried to whitewash it by suggesting it was old news. Did she realize she had just validated it?
Hutchinson dropped a load of bombshells in her testimony today, most of which were about Trump’s violent behavior or his approval of it. I wrote for Crooks and Liars today about her testimony that he tried to choke a Secret Service agent who refused to allow him to go to the Capitol on January 6 (now being disputed) and how he threw dishes when he got angry. Hutchinson also testified that Trump wanted the January 6 demonstrators to be allowed to take weapons to the Capitol. And that he did not want to call off the insurrectionists.
Also, as The Washington Post noted, Hutchinson’s testimony added to “years of reports about [Trump’s] violent temper and abusive outbursts toward advisers and staff, sometimes spilling into public view. … [T]he portrait of his rage was familiar to many people who worked in his White House, though few have come forward before to say so publicly and under oath.”
But MacCallum knows Fox values propaganda over news, even as the network touts her as embodying “the ultimate journalistic integrity and professionalism.” So, after a day of testimony that Fox’s Bret Baier later called “stunning” and “compelling,” MacCallum earlier tried to argue that it really wasn’t.
“News” anchor John Roberts was there to help. He dubiously claimed not to be sure there was anything very noteworthy about Hutchinson’s testimony:
ROBERTS: Martha, John Dean, who we remember from the Nixon era and the Watergate hearings, tweeted this morning about this: "Better be a big deal" – because he was reflecting back on the one surprise witness and the hearing in the Watergate hearings back in 1973. Back then, that witness was Alex Butterfield, who testified to the existence of Nixon's secret taping system, which blew the whole thing wide open. Do we have anything that even approaches that from this witness?
MacCallum suggested it was all a lot of showy nothing:
MACCALLUM: I would say that we had sort of the basic parameters of what happened with regard to this. We had heard before that the president wanted to go to the Capitol and that there was pushback against that. So, what we're getting today are a lot of details and fill-in into just how dramatic that whole situation was.
Then, after saying that Hutchinson came across as very credible – MacCallum slyly undercut her credibility by suggesting her memory was too good to be true, saying, “She has a good memory for all of these different conversations that were being had.” MacCallum did not point out that Hutchinson reportedly took copious notes during her tenure at the White House.
MacCallum next tried to minimize the significance of Hutchinson’s testimony.
MACCALLUM: The question is, you know, all of this is obviously riveting. It's – it's very dramatic. It was clearly a very difficult day for her and for those who were involved and for everybody who witnessed it, I would add. But the question is, in terms of the Department of Justice, does it move the ball at all on any legal action that they could pursue? Or is it sort of an overall filling in the gaps, filling in the story that has an impact on whether or not the former president decides to run again and whether or not any of these details impact people's feelings about that all around.
Anchor Sandra Smith said Hutchinson’s testimony took an “amazing turn” when she “described the president smashing his lunch against the wall, ketchup on the walls, after reading Barr's AP interview. But then she immediately trotted out legal analyst Jonathan Turley’s hack response:
SMITH: Jonathan Turley just writing a few moments ago that in no way is this an exoneration of the president's role, but he's pointing again to the leaving out of the peacefully head to the Capitol – the words that Turley has pointed out quite often; no exoneration, but highlights the lack of any alternative perspective or questioning on the committee in that room.
Like Turley, Smith failed to mention that the reason for the lack of “alternative perspective” was because Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy refused to put other Republicans on the committee after Rep. Jim Jordan was rejected.
However, Smith did gently push back on MacCallum’s suggestion that Hutchinson’s memory was too good to be true, saying she was “known to be a very good note-taker.”
Then came what I believe was a bit of a Freudian slip on MacCallum’s part, acknowledging that she knew Trump had a violent temper:
MACCALLUM: I'm not sure that it really shocks anybody that the president just, you know, knowing what we've seen, observing him over the years, if he got angry that he might throw his lunch, I'm not sure – it's obviously a very dramatic detail. And the way that she describes it is but I'm not sure that any of this is – is wholly out of character with the Donald Trump and the President Trump that people came to know over the years.
For one thing, I’ll venture that most of the public did not know Trump had such a violent temper. Sandra Smith surely indicated it was a big surprise. But even if it was well known, that doesn’t make it any better. But most importantly and probably without intending to, MacCallum had just validated Hutchinson's testimony.
MacCallum continued by suggesting that Trump’s violent outburst was justified:
MACCALLUM: And there's a lot of people out there who obviously shared his feelings of frustration over the course of those days. The problem was that they couldn't back it up with anything in the courts and they couldn't back it up with evidence that they produced. And that obviously was probably a source of deep frustration as well. Things were clearly not going his way. All of this is revelatory in terms of character and action and for people to take in and do with that information what they will over the course of time. As I said, whether or not the DOJ has more to go on here based on this testimony - you know, I'll leave that to Jonathan Turley and others, but that's the real question that underlies all of this in terms of action.
You can watch the whitewashing of Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony below, from the June 28, 2022 America Reports, via Media Matters.
Prohibition has never worked and yet that’s precisely what the so-called prolifers (who are anything but) are wanting government to do. Despite the fact that experience has demonstrated time and time again that the most effective way to reduce abortion is sex education and contraception. Unfortunately, the holier-than-thou (until-I-myself-or-my-daughter- have/has-an-unwanted-pregnancy) want to prohibit rather than empower women. Drives me insane, it does.
The latest horror story to drive me to despair concerns an American lady who had gone to Malta with her partner to celebrate being pregnant. She had a miscarriage while there and the doctors could not give her the care she needed to avoid dying of septicemia. The doctors agreed that was absolutely no hope of saving the fetus but they could not act until there was no heartbeat; they also agreed that she was highly vulnerable to death, herself, but they could do nothing under Maltese law. The insurance company thankfully stepped in; she was air-lifted to the nearest accepting clinic (in Spain) and the problem was resolved. Less than a week later she was recovering and hopeful that her next pregnancy would be successful.
I’m ashamed to note that it’s a good thing she went to Spain. Italian bureaucracy would probably not have processed her case in time to save her life and many doctors working at public clinics in south Italy are registered as conscientious objectors (even though some of them are reportedly willing to perform abortions in private clinics).
You know the majority of Republicans know he’s nuts and would wish he would go away but they fear retaliation from those who don’t pass the loyalty test.
Of course not. Foxies are not at all worried about spouting stuff off without engaging their brain and they don’t see why they would want to recall what they may have said earlier. It’s all extemporaneous sound bites and they simply hate it when others remind them of that. How on earth did the USA allow such a large group of people with the sense of a 3-year-old toddler get into power?