Not everybody at Fox News thinks Donald Trump can do no wrong. Hosts Shepard Smith and Chris Wallace, probably Fox’s two most respected figures, blasted the “lies” and “deception” about Russia coming from the White House. Meanwhile, Fox's Charles Krauthammer called Trump Jr.’s Russia meeting “deeply wrong” and the attempted justification “pathetic.”
In a scathing July 13, 2017 Washington Post column called, “Bungled collusion is still collusion,” Fox News contributor Krauthammer wrote:
It’s rather pathetic to hear Trump apologists protesting that [colluding with Russia is] no big deal because we Americans are always intervening in other people’s elections, and they in ours.
[H]ave the Trumpites not been telling us for six months that no collusion ever happened? And now they say: Sure it happened. So what? Everyone does it.
What’s left of your credibility when you make such a casual about-face?
What Donald Jr. — and Kushner and Manafort — did may not be criminal. But it is not merely stupid. It is also deeply wrong, a fundamental violation of any code of civic honor.
This is noteworthy not only because of the harsh criticism leveled at a fellow conservative but because the “so what?” attitude Krauthammer criticized is so pervasive on Fox News.
On Friday, Smith and Wallace hauled Trump over the coals on the air:
WALLACE: Clearly this was attempted collusion. It may have been bungled collusion but the argument that the Trump White House - campaign before, transition after that, now the administration - made that there was nothing to see here so let’s move on, that there was a hoax, that this was fake news, that there was no serious contact or meaningful contact between Trump world and the Russians. That’s dead. The credibility of that is completely shot.
SMITH: The lies - one after another after another after another, Chris, they are of note and worthy of reporting and worthy of considering as a constituent.
WALLACE: Yeah, I think this really shouldn’t be a matter of liberal vs. conservative, pro-Trump vs. anti-Trump. If you’re a fair-minded citizen, you ought to be concerned about the fact that we were repeatedly misled about what this meeting concerned. …We’ve been told a variety of stories and who knows if we’ve gotten to the end of the story?
SMITH: If there’s nothing there – and that’s what they tell us … why all these lies? Why is it lie after lie after lie? … The deception, Chris, is mindboggling and there are still people who’re out there who believe we’re makin’ it up. And one day they’re gonna realize we’re not and look around and go, “Where are we and why are we getting told all these lies?”
WALLACE: … There’s a lot of truth to what you said.
We do not know if a crime was committed. We do know that we were misled a number of times, repeatedly, about what went on in this meeting, what went on in other meetings. … Come clean, tell it now, let the chips fall where they may and if, in fact, there was no crime committed, you’ll survive it. It’ll be embarrassing but it will be better than this.
Wallace didn’t say what the White House should do if a crime has been committed.
Watch Smith and Wallace lambaste the Trump administration below, from the July 14, 2017 Shepard Smith Reporting, via Raw Story.
I caught Chris Wallace’s discomfort and he obviously didn’t want to go as far as Smith. But he did say some pretty strong things.
It will be interesting to see what Wallace does on FNS on Sunday.
Certainly, Chris Wallace, whose show is featured on more mainstream Fox entertainment (and rebroadcast on the Fox News propaganda factory), has always appeared more moderate as he’s forced to walk a fine line. However, I saw Shep’s show live and Chris stuttered in response and his hesitant ‘I don’t know what to say’ appered to me to be an uncomfortable response. I suspect Chris both saw the truth of Shep’s outrage but knew a dangerous line was being crossed on GOPTV™.
I’ve seen endless tweets in #FoxNews raging for Shep’s head. This lastest Shep departure from Fox’s pro-#Trump memes hasn’t been missed in the right-wing internet fever swamps and a fire Shep movement is organizing and building.
Krauthammer is an establishment Republican who is joining a growing list of former popular Fox personalities like Bill Kristol and George Will turning on Trump. Note Will and Kristol are persona non grata on Fox News now. While Krauthammer is by far a more ingrained Fox personality and likely to survive, I’m starting to bump into Fox News fanboys demanding the ‘Never Trumper’ get canned too.