I can just imagine how the hiked-skirt brigade on Fox News’ Outnumbered show would have reacted had President Barack Obama had a Twitter temper tantrum over a spending bill and called for either a rules change to eliminate the legislative filibuster or for a “good ‘shutdown’” of the government. But since it was Donald Trump doing the whining, Fox was there to offer support!
Politico noted that Senate Republicans responded to Trump’s tweets by rejecting them “swiftly and decisively.”
But on Outnumbered, nary a discouraging word was heard.
Cohost Harris Faulkner found a way to praise Trump even as she had to acknowledge his inconsistency.
FAULKNER: You know what’s interesting about this? This is kind of flying in the face of what he said even a week ago because he recognized … the importance of bipartisanship in moving forward. Now what he’s simply saying is, “You know what? We can simply sustain what we need to in order to make sure that the things that I promised get done.”
Faulkner did not explain Trump’s inconsistency in calling the spending bill a “victory” just a few hours later, while speaking to some members of the Air Force Academy today.
Instead, Faulkner tried to corroborate that “victory” by saying Trump “got specific about what the bill that’s taking shape right now would offer coal workers” and how he “got specific about inner city children having a better school choice through education programs.”
Then Faulkner quickly moved on to relay her “favorite moment” in Trump’s remarks. “I don’t know if this was scripted,” she said enthusiastically. But Trump “turned around and talked about how he knew how it felt for dollars from donors and sponsors from politicians to have more power … than the American people. He knew how that felt because he used to be one.”
Faulkner is either the most ignorant news host or the most duplicitous (or both). The “man of the people” Faulkner was presenting to Fox viewers bears no resemblance to the actual Trump. The real Trump is loaded with conflicts of interest and is using his position to line his pockets. That’s not counting how he could make himself even richer from his tax plan.
Not one other person on the totally fair and balanced panel of five conservatives challenged Faulkner's mischaracterization.
Instead, cohost Sandra Smith read a quote from Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy calling Trump’s shutdown threat “a sour and shameful note to kick off negotiations for fiscal year 2018.” It was a neat way of suggesting that any opposition to Trump’s tweet was little more than partisan politics.
Cohost Trish Regan validated the point. “A lot of this is so political, right?” she said. She offered the mildest hints of criticism, saying that Trump sounded like he was on the campaign trail and that he “needs to make the case” to Americans “that he got something” in the recent spending bill. Then she praised his “glass half-full kind of attitude” and said, “He got some defense money here, he got some money for the border security. These are things that in his eyes are wins.”
Maybe so, but the reality, as Regan should know, is that Trump's goals had just been rejected by a Republican Congress’ spending bill. It was a big win for Democrats. Trump’s tweets were his childish reaction to that defeat.
Again, nobody corrected the record.
The show’s #OneLuckyGuy, David Bossie, a Trump campaign manager, was upbeat about Trump’s shutdown threat. “All things have to be on the table,” Bossie said. “He has to negotiate from a position of strength.”
Then, like any Fox Republican, Bossie went on to blame President Barack Obama. Calling Trump’s tweet a “first salvo as the new president,” Bossie excused Trump’s latest Congressional loss by saying, “This is the last six months of President Obama’s last budget that he’s trying to get done right now, so he didn’t have a lot of choices.”
But you can rest assured that if Trump faces more failures in the fall (and the Democrats have set things up nicely for themselves in that regard), Fox will just find another way to spin it for him.
Watch Fox’s dissembling below, from the May 2, 2017 Outnumbered.