It was clear Rep. Dan Crenshaw was invited on the Special Report show specifically to weaponize the tragedy of the Titan submersible against President Joe Biden and the military.
Guest anchor Trace Gallagher showed the Fox hand right at the beginning when he introduced Crenshaw, saying he “has been critical of the search effort.” To get the anti-Biden juices going, Gallagher played a clip of Crenshaw saying that the search effort for the Titan “appears to be” an “epic failure in leadership.” Crenshaw added, “Where exactly that leadership failure is, I'm not sure. Is it the White House, Coast Guard, Navy? I'm not sure.”
So why would Fox "News" bother to do any of its own investigation into a claim like that when there’s a U.S. congressman ready to spout off unsupported theories that tarnish all three?
Obviously, Crenshaw’s attack was the reason he got booked on Fox’s flagship “news” program. Never mind that we learned hours before it aired at 6 PM ET that the Titan had imploded, probably when communication had been lost, before the rescue effort began.
Nevertheless, Gallagher asked Crenshaw what he would have done differently “and where do you think they failed the biggest?”
Crenshaw gave a detailed and technical explanation of what he saw as the timeline of events and the failure to deploy the proper equipment in time. Then he cut to the Fox-favored chase:
CRENSHAW: So where is the failure here? The failure here is to not put all your options on the table, right? So, you saw that Wall Street Journal article about the U.S. Navy heard this implosion with their acoustic systems. So, what seems to me is that the leadership, the Coast Guard was operating off of this assumption that that was an implosion. Now, other experts in this industry tell me that that could have easily been the sub just hitting the floor.
And then you add that with this tapping, which was apparently like, in your standard procedure SOS, every half hour, you’re hearing that throughout the day Tuesday and Wednesday, it begs the question, could this have been resolved differently if leadership had just acted sooner and actually put options on the table instead of just assuming, well, it doesn't matter because they’re dead?
To his credit, Gallagher pointed out that since there was reason to believe everyone aboard the Titan had died when communication was lost, "maybe at that point they [the Navy and/or Coast Guard] no longer need these vehicles because it's not a rescue operation. It's a recovery operation.”
But Crenshaw wasn’t there to get at the truth for Fox, though I’ll assume he was telling the facts as best he knew and that his criticisms were made in good faith. Gallagher, on the other hand, indicated no interest in learning the information Crenshaw acknowledged he didn't have. Instead, Gallagher acted as though Crenshaw was the news reporter, not the highly-rated network with “news” in its name.
CRENSHAW: I think they need to tell us why they were operating off of that assumption. And then they need to explain on why Tuesday and Wednesday you are actually hearing all of these pings that are consistent with an SOS signal.
So, this is what I'm hearing from civilian experts who are at the site, and they are contacting my office and they’re telling me this. That's what I have been operating off of. So, nothing has changed.
Do you think Gallagher asked who Crenshaw’s “civilian experts” were? Nah, that’s for other networks.
So, Crenshaw went on with his claim that the Coast Guard’s behavior “makes no sense.” Then, after more technical details, he said, “I don't have any more information because, apparently, the civilians that were there to confirm that it was debris from that sub, they were kicked out of the room. So, I don't have that information coming to me.”
Do you think Gallagher indicated that a reporter from Fox News would investigate based on Crenshaw’s questions? Nah, investigations are for other networks. In fact, Fox recently laid off its investigative unit.
Crenshaw continued by getting to the meat of why Fox was interested in his theories: “I have real questions about the Coast Guard authorities and what kind of decision-making process was made here.” Then he answered his own question without bothering to wait for more information. “What's going to happen in the future? Should we put these people in charge of future recoveries? Should we? They can't seem to make proper decisions,” Crenshaw said.
Gallagher was obviously pleased with that last comment because he validated it and used it to further attacks on the Biden administration:
GALLAGHER: And I think it's a fair assessment because this administration has been criticized from the start, from Afghanistan to the Chinese balloon, of just slowly [he dragged out the word “slowly” for extra emphasis] responding to a lot of this stuff. And it really, you know, a lot of people have said this should have been an all-hands-on deck event, and it wasn't.
In reality, there is no connection between the Titan and Afghanistan or the Chinese balloon. The Titan had nothing to do with national security; it was a small group of adventure tourists involved in a terrible accident. I might add that they’re the kind of people folks on Fox News adamantly claim should not have to pay their fair share in taxes. Yet, the Foxies also seem to think no taxpayer resources should be spared in an attempt to rescue them when their risky adventure turned disastrous.
Gallagher closed the segment with a stamp of approval for Crenshaw: “Congressman, thank you for your thoughts. We appreciate your time,” he said.
Don’t get me wrong: I certainly think the Titan passengers deserved to be rescued and I’m all for reviewing the actions of the Coast Guard, Navy, etc., if warranted. But throwing around accusations and pretending the Titan implosion was some kind of national emergency was all about smearing Biden and – well, politicizing a tragedy. You know, the thing Fox hates - except when they do it.
You can watch Fox exploit the Titan tragedy below, from the June 22, 2023 Special Report.