This morning, Faulkner aided and abetted Gaetz’s pretense that Taylor Greene was stripped of her committee assignments because of her conspiracy-theory views, not because, among other reasons, she repeatedly suggested that she’d love to see top Democrats executed or that she threateningly harassed teenager David Hogg when he visited Congress to air his views after he survived a mass school shooting Taylor Greene claimed was a “false flag.”
Here are some excerpts from Faulkner’s chummy 32:58 chat with Gaetz, interrupted by Taylor Greene’s defiant, unrepentant, unapologetic and attack-filled “press conference.”
GAETZ: This wasn’t an attack on Marjorie Taylor Greene, it was an attack on her voters. … I think it’s very dangerous when Congress becomes the internet police or the social media police, sitting in judgment of the comments people made, even before their time here. …
There are many Americans who get lost in some of the dark recesses of the internet and Taylor Greene is a better person today than she was when she made some of these odd statements online and I hope that we all grow and continue to be better people and certainly the step by Democrats reverts us to more of a de-platforming posture than a posture where we can debate the issues.
In fact, Taylor Greene had already shown her lack of contrition. The Faulkner Focus airs at 11 AM ET, here’s what Taylor Greene tweeted several hours before:
I woke up early this morning literally laughing thinking about what a bunch of morons the Democrats (+11) are for giving some one like me free time.— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) February 5, 2021
In this Democrat tyrannical government, Conservative Republicans have no say on committees anyway.
Oh this is going to be fun!
Live from the House of Hypocrites https://t.co/pIPfn6sfdp— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (@RepMTG) February 5, 2021
But Faulkner’s response?
FAULKNER: Oh, that’s really interesting, the de-platforming. Right? It kind of goes along with re-programming, which is what Democrats, some of them, have talked about doing with Trump supporters, those people who voted, the 74+ million people.
It’s interesting that you chose that word because they really are cousins in the realm of realigning someone’s thinking.
Faulkner went on to acknowledge that “some things” Taylor Greene said were “more than odd.” But rather than confronting Gaetz for supporting Taylor Greene retaining her committee assignments, Faulkner asked, “What was the conversation like behind the scenes” in the Republican caucus. That was really an opening for Gaetz to defend the GOP vote in support of murder-curious Marjorie.
GAETZ: I saw contrition from Marjorie Taylor Greene. I saw someone who has grown personally, who regrets things that she said. And remember, the internet has a lot of dark places, whether it’s pornography or some of these bizarre fan fiction elements – you know, people start by kind of getting titillated and then they end up getting obsessed and then they can end up even creating dangerous content and spreading that.
Marjorie Taylor Greene indicated her understanding that when you mix thing that are true with things that are not, you can really harm people. So I think there was a lot of listening, a lot of understanding and I think that we’re a stronger conference because the vast majority of us stood up for this woman who is being targeted and who, I think, has grown. We’ve got to extend a little grace to each other online.
Extending grace is a nice idea, especially if you can believe Gaetz meant it, but Taylor Greene’s vicious lies, as CNN's Brianna Keilar so aptly demonstrated, went far beyond spouting off a few ill-chosen comments on Twitter and Facebook.
Gaetz then patted himself on the back for not wanting to “hammer” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “for perhaps overdramatizing her trauma during the January 6th events at the Capitol because there are moments when different people react differently and if we all extend each other just a little bit of grace, then maybe we’ll have the opportunity to work together.”
Let’s not forget that Gaetz's record of extending “grace” is rather shoddy. He mocked concerns over the coronavirus pandemic by wearing a gas mask on the House floor. He said, in late 2019, on Fox, “Nancy Pelosi sort of holds the Articles of Impeachment like some demented, you know, non-Santa Claus not delivering the gifts to the children.” There was also the time he and some of his like-minded colleagues (no doubt Taylor Greene would have joined them) breached national security when they broke into a SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility) in order to disrupt an impeachment deposition of Deputy Assistant Secretary of DefenseLaura Cooper, yelling and shouting down the procedure as a “sham process,” as Law & Crime described it. And that was only nine days after Gaetz was kicked out of impeachment witness Fiona Hill’s deposition for trying to disrupt it.
But if you think that Faulkner noted any of Gaetz’s BS, think again.
I’ll have more on Gaetz and Taylor Greene in my next post. Meanwhile, watch the first 3:45 of his chat with Faulkner below, from the February 5, 2021 The Faulkner Focus.