When a newspaper reported that Donald Trump’s claim to have seen “thousands and thousands” of Muslims cheering on TV was “baseless,” Fox host Martha MacCallum seized on reports of “at least two modest celebrations” as “proof” that Trump spoke the truth. And then she teamed up with Fox’s Deneen Borelli to point fingers at Hillary Clinton as the real liar.
In her introduction, MacCallum said, “Donald Trump created a firestorm when he claimed that he saw thousands and thousands of Muslims cheering the 9/11 terror attacks and now there may actually be some truth to that story.”
MacCallum cited an investigation by the New Jersey Star-Ledger that included interviews with police officers and dozens of other people who were there. MacCallum quoted from the article, “The inquiry… found Trump’s broad assertion that thousands of people cheered to be baseless. At the same time, the inquiry provides the first credible indication of at least two modest celebrations, as described by on-the-record sources who say they witnessed the behavior.”
MacCallum “forgot” to mention that the Star-Ledger report also included credible sources, such as the mayor of Jersey City, where some of these celebrations supposedly happened, and former Attorney General John Farmer Jr., disputing even those accounts. She also “overlooked” how no video of what Trump claimed to have seen on television has been found. And there’s no way that a few “modest” celebrations is equivalent to the “thousands and thousands” of Muslims Trump claimed to have seen on television.
But to MacCallum and Borelli, this proved that Trump is the truth teller about evil Muslims and Hillary Clinton the liar for saying during the last debate that Trump is used as a recruitment tool for ISIS.
BORELLI: Trump at worst may have exaggerated the numbers, Martha, but based on the investigation this was the truth. It did happen. Sad but true. You had these individuals who were celebrating the attacks that happened right here in New York City.
…On the other hand, you have Hillary Clinton who just flat out lies because she’s trying to cover for her failed political career and to protect her political ambitions.
MacCallum “asked” the other guest, Democrat Marjorie Clifton, this fair and balanced question: “Marjorie what do you think about this investigation by the Star-Ledger because Donald Trump was roundly criticized for making these comments about people cheering and yet we’ve heard anecdotal evidence of it for some time in sporadic places around the city and now these reports from these specific individuals in New Jersey?”
Rather than call out the dishonesty of this segment, Clifton responded by talking about how Trump has a bunch of “little partial truths and some big not-truths that he commits many times over.”
She added, “So, I don’t think many people take seriously what Trump says at the whole. I don’t really understand what the win is in saying, ‘OK, we have a few people that say this was correct.’”
Clifton went on to say, “The concern is not just this one celebration in the street, it’s we want to keep all Muslims from coming into the country, we should be afraid of Muslims and what it does to both damage our relationships with other countries that can be helpful in fighting ISIS.”
But even that mild response was too much for the supposedly objective MacCallum. She interrupted Clifton to say, “Ummm, I don’t know” and, later, to further defend Trump: “He never said anything about American Muslims in this country. He said he wanted to keep people from the outside coming into the country temporarily, just to be specific.”
In further support of Trump’s Islamophobia, MacCallum asked Borelli whether “we need to be wide-eyed” about “feelings of support for some of these attackers… where it does exist” in the U.S.
Borelli went on an Alex Jones-style rant that went uninterrupted:
BORELLI: We absolutely need to be aware of that , Martha, and this is a serious situation. This isn’t a movie or a comic book. We have terrorists who want to harm and kill Americans. We don’t know how many of these terrorists are here on our soil as we speak. We don’t know what they’re doing or what they’re plotting. But we have these initiatives and programs that are basically using our laws against us - whether it’s the visa program, whether it’s the refugee settlement program, whether it’s our immigration policies. They’re all failing on many, many levels and first and foremost, most important, government should be protecting Americans - American citizens -and not looking out for immigrants who are trying to come into our country and do us harm.
Having “proved” Trump the honest broker, MacCallum and Borelli turned to painting Clinton as the dishonest one.
MacCallum played a clip of Clinton saying that Trump, “is becoming ISIS’s best recruiter. They are going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists.”
For extra Fox News Fairness, MacCallum blew the Benghazi dog whistle: “Is Hillary Clinton once again guilty of talking about a video that is not relevant to the story here, Marjorie?”
Again Clifton gave the dishonesty a pass and actually helped give it credibility by saying Clinton spoke a half-truth like we saw with Trump. She added that ISIS is a concern for both sides of the aisle and that the “smart approaches” are “not to disenfranchise good Muslim populations who are partners and do not want terrorism and are victims of Muslim extremists."
But while MacCallum found nothing objectionable in Borelli’s rant, this mild-mannered comment from Clifton was intolerable to her. MacCallum cut off Clifton and snarked, “I don’t know where these people are who don’t agree with what you just said, Marjorie.”
I know where they are: at Trump rallies.
MacCallum then went on her own impassioned defense of Trump – that just happened to include an attack on Clinton.
MacCallum: The idea that some candidates are sort of brushed with this swath, that they feel that way, that they’re against, you know, good citizen Muslims in this country I just think is such a misnomer and so unfair. I think we need to continue to make that point.
But the fact of the matter is that whether Hillary Clinton believes that someone is being used as a recruitment tool, there is a challenge that exists. She also said, “Oh, we’re on the right track and we shouldn’t worry about it." The President, this morning, in this interview with NPR, said that they don’t present any existential threat to the United States. Well, I don’t know whether it, existence, is the bar that we’re looking for here or safety and security in our country, Deneen?
That was yet another opportunity for Borelli to blast Obama and Clinton – this time blaming them for ISIS terrorism - without challenge. Clifton didn’t even try to break in.
BORELLI: President Obama and Hillary Clinton have contributed and share the responsibility with ISIS doing what they’re doing which is increasing terrorism and their threats against the world and our country. Hillary, again, she’ll do and say anything to protect her political ambitions.
Borelli got the last word by accusing Clinton of using Trump to distract from her own failures. “That’s what she does and over 60% of Americans know that the woman is a pathological liar.”
MacCallum never gave Clifton a chance to respond.
Watch this nearly seven minutes of blatant bias below, from the December 21 America’s NewsRoom.