Despite Fox News’ insistence that host Martha MacCallum has such fine journalistic chops that she is perfectly suited to host a Democratic presidential candidates’ debate on Fox News, her interview with Rush Limbaugh last night proved just the opposite. Don’t say we never warned ya.
MacCallum spent 20 chummy minutes with Limbaugh, listening with a thoughtful expression as Limbaugh spewed his vicious, partisan rhetoric. This is how Media Matters aptly summed it up:
During the interview, Limbaugh claimed fomer Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should be investigated, indicted and put in jail. Limbaugh offered no evidence to back up this claim, and MacCallum did not ask for any. Limbaugh also used a racial slur to attack Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and MacCallum again let the attack slide without mention. Limbaugh then claimed Democratic candidates do not have plans to pay for their policy proposals, another falsehood that MacCallum did not push back on.
For example, after a clip of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren talking about rolling back student loan debt and free college tuition, MacCallum used right-wing framing by summing up Warren's remarks as “a lot of free stuff in a lot of those plans.”
Limbaugh replied, “Pocahontas is not going to be the nominee. But you know, these Democrats are all in the process are trying to out-left this, out-liberal each other. And they're in a contest to who can give away the most.”
Limbaugh nattered on about the importance of not getting a “handout.” And, funny, MacCallum never thought to mention the handouts Donald Trump got nor the ones he’s giving to his completely unqualified daughter and son-in-law who couldn't even get a security clearance without Daddy’s help - and then lied about it.
Instead, MacCallum replied to Limbaugh by saying, “So, you know, it really breaks down the country in terms of those who think that we should be given all of these things and the people who are Trump supporters.”
Later, “objective” MacCallum moved on to playing a clip of Hillary Clinton saying about the Mueller report and its findings about Trump, “There's enough there that any other person who had engaged in those acts would certainly have been indicted. The whole matter of obstruction was very directly sent to the Congress. I mean, if you read that part of the report, it could not be clearer.”
Rather than ask Limbaugh to comment on the obstructive behavior Mueller very definitely did not exonerate, MacCallum invited an attack on Clinton: “Well, what's going through your mind as you're listening to that, Rush?” she "asked."
Limbaugh all but broke into a “Lock her up!” chant and if he had, it’s a safe bet MacCallum would have smiled indulgently.
LIMBAUGH:I was trying not to listen to that. You know this is the irony. Hillary Clinton is who tried to rig a presidential election, Martha. Hillary Clinton and her pals in the Obama Department of Justice and the FBI, they are the ones who colluded with the Russians. They are the ones that gave us this entirely totally bogus Steele dossier.
For Hillary Clinton, but irony, for Hillary Clinton to be talking about impeaching Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton needs to be investigated, she needs to be indicted, and she needs to be in jail. And many of her co- conspirators in this whole sordid affair which amounted to nothing more than a silent coup to overturn the election results of 2016.
Hillary Clinton demanding at Trump? You talk about sour grapes. This is a woman who's been rejected by the American people twice. Rejected by her party in 2008, she had to rig the primaries against crazy Bernie in 2016 to get the nomination.
She is the last person who ought to be listened to about what ought to happen to Donald Trump. She hasn't accomplished anything, anywhere near what Donald Trump has accomplished. She is in no position here to sit here and say what she saw in the Mueller report.
She can say it, she's an American. But she doesn't have any credibility underneath this as far as I am concerned, and I'm not alone there.
MACCALLUM: Well, Jared Kushner also spoke at the conference today. And I know you talked about this today. Here he is talking about how much the Russians actually did on Facebook.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JARED KUSHNER, SENIOR ADVISER TO THE PRESIDENT: I think the investigations and all the speculation that's happened for the last two years, has had a much harsher impact on our democracy than a couple of Facebook ads. And I spend about -- I think they said they spend about $160,000. I spend $160,000 also on Facebook every three hours during the campaign.
So, now, if you look at the magnitude of what they did and what they accomplished, I think the ensuing investigations have been way more harmful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Very interesting to hear from him today on that, and a lot of other things, Rush.
This is quite a contrast to MacCallum’s behavior during Fox’s town hall with Bernie Sanders. In that instance, where she served as a moderator, she validated one of Trump’s more hideous proposals when she responded to Sanders’ call for “real comprehensive immigration reform” over Trump’s plan to punish sanctuary cities by sending immigrant detainees there: “So the people that live on the border should have more facilities in their states but sanctuary cities, which have said they’re open to accepting people should not take more?” MacCallum snarked.
When Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez declined to hold a primary debate on Fox News, Fox News Senior Vice President Bill Sammon responded with a plea for reconsideration that argued MacCallum, as well as Fox’s Bret Baier and Chris Wallace, “embody the ultimate journalistic integrity and professionalism.”
Maybe this Limbaugh interview is what Sammon thinks of as “ultimate journalistic integrity and professionalism.” But nobody else should.
Watch the latest affirmation of Perez’ decision below, from the April 23, 2019 The Story with Martha MacCallum.
Limbaugh’s comments aren’t surprising. He’s clearly panicking about the terrible approval numbers for the Pence White House and the continuing revulsion most of the country holds for its Tweeting spokesman. So now he wants to throw as much frantic shade as he can, and we’re supposed to just believe that any of the nonsense he’s saying has any credibility.
To be honest, it’s perplexing why anyone pays any attention to desperate attention-seekers like Limbaugh. On the other hand, it’s par for the course for Fox News to encourage his vicious statements as though they were sage pronouncements of some sort.
Rush in conservative circles is bigger than anyone on Fox News. So whenever he shows up on TrumpTV he gets special treatment far better than their other right-wing buddies. Even infamous egomaniac Bill O’Reilly back when he boasted top dog status on Fox was highly deferential to Rush sometimes brushing off slights by the king of MAGA hate radio.
It’s rare for Rush to climb down from his throne to appear on Fox News. If Martha weren’t married I’d suggest Rush is about to divorce trophy wife #4 and is shopping trophy wife #5. 😘