Spoiler alert: The network can use them to attack President Joe Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.
On Fox News Sunday yesterday, congressional correspondent Aishah Hasnie was part of a segment commemorating the two-year anniversary of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. It’s perfectly OK and appropriate to critique the withdrawal. But Fox primed the pump, so to speak, with a report by Hasnie clearly designed to stoke animosity toward Biden, thinly veiled as a report about the families of fallen soldiers.
Hasnie was a vision of sympathy for Gold Star families who are angry at Biden.
HASNIE: You know, these families, a lot of them have been silent for the past two years. That's because they were waiting patiently for this administration to explain the decisions made on the ground. Well, now, they're tired of waiting, and they're lashing out.
Just in case anyone thinks the point of the segment was about the Gold Star families, Hasnie’s report began with a clip of the mother-in-law of a fallen soldier saying, “I live every single day knowing that these deaths were preventable. My daughter could be with us today.”
Then it was time for Hasnie to more pointedly ratchet up animosity toward Biden.
HASNIE: Christy Shamblin chokes up as she remembers her daughter-in-law Sergeant Nicole Gee, one of the 13 U.S. service members killed by a suicide bomber at Kabul's Airport during that chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. This week, Shamblin and five other Gold Star families spoke out at a public forum, accusing the Biden administration of failing their children and then trying to cover it up.
KELLY BARNETT, STAFF SERGEANT DARIN HOOVER'S MOTHER: We are told lies given incomplete reports, incorrect reports, total disrespect.
HASNIE: Today, the administration refuses to take any responsibility, denies the evacuation was chaotic, and even calls it a success.
SHAMBLIN: When our leaders call this evacuation of success, it is like a knife in the heart.
HASNIE: These grieving parents now just want an apology and department leaders to resign, but have little hope that will ever happen.
STEVE NIKOUI, LANCE CORPORAL KAREEM NIKOUI'S FATHER: My son needed a commander in chief who cared solely about his life. Instead, his commander- in-chief chose to use him as a pawn.
Host Shannon Bream praised Hasnie for doing “a fantastic job” with her reporting. “For those families,” Hasnie replied. Sure it was.
I’m old enough to remember when Fox personalities didn’t just defend Donald Trump’s direct insults to Gold Star families but joined in them. For example, after grieving Gold Star father Khizr Khan so movingly spoke at the DNC in 2016, Trump hideously responded by suggesting that Khan was a radical Muslim and claimed he had sacrificed just as much because he’s such a successful businessman.
HANNITY: You know, ISIS is involved in an attack every 84 hours. That came out last week. We know in the U.S. from our FBI director that all 50 states, there’s over 1,000 ISIS investigations going on in the country. It sounds like the media wants one narrative. You’re talking about protecting the homeland. And I want to ask why do you think Mr. Khan is going after you when you talk about specifically people coming from countries that practice Sharia, which discriminate against Christians and Jews and women and gays and lesbians, and whose values under Sharia are the antithesis of our constitutional values, and Hillary voted for the war and voted to pull out early? Why do you think you’re being targeted?
Jesus’ most ostentatiously adoring hypocrite and Hannity’s “domestic bliss” partner, Ainsley Earhardt, joined her Fox & Friends colleagues in going after a Gold Star wife. Here’s how they responded to Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson's claim that Trump said to the widow of a fallen soldier, once he finally got around to calling her (after being publicly challenged over his lack of response): He “must have known what he signed up for.” The widow was reportedly in tears after Trump’s insensitivity and lamented that Trump “didn’t even remember his name.”
From my October 18, 2017 post:
EARHARDT: So this representative, this Democrat down in Florida, said she was in the car - I believe it was in the car or she was listening on the speaker phone with the wife down in Miami. And she said that the president was insensitive when he called to say, “I’m sorry your husband died fighting for our country.” And she said he framed it wrong, he said that comment, she was really offended by it. My response to this was the president of the United States of America called to say, “Thank you for your service. I’m sorry for your sacrifice.” That in it of itself is extremely special that the president of the United States picked up the phone to call these families.
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): Also, listen, this is one representative’s opinion about what she thought the tone was and how it was being portrayed by the president to the slain soldier’s family. Who are you to sit there and say, “I am offended by the way, by the president’s tone to this family?”
STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): Well, the key is, we have not heard from the family, itself. We have simply heard from a Democratic Congresswoman who says the president was insensitive.
EARHARDT: And it’s OK if we don’t hear from the family. We’re not expecting to hear from the family. They’re grieving right now. But, out of all the things you want to complain about the president, this is not something you should be complaining about in my opinion because he called the family to say, “I’m really sorry. Thank you for your sacrifice.” She didn’t like the tone. She didn’t like the way he phrased one sentence. I mean, do you really think the president was calling to condemn the family? No.
KILMEADE: I know one family member said that the president waiting was smart, “I appreciate it. The last thing we wanted was a call from the president right after we got word that he got killed in Niger."
EARHARDT: Well, the president is not required to call all the families. It’s just extra special and very nice when they do.
In a separate interview with Trump, Kilmeade certainly didn’t mind when Trump blatantly lied about consoling Gold Star families.
Hasnie joined Fox News in 2019, after all those events. But something tells me she would not have been reporting on the agony of the Gold Star families dissed and insulted by Donald Trump even if she had been there.
You can watch Fox News exploit Gold Star families for the sake of its divisive, political propaganda below, from the August 13, 2023 Fox News Sunday.