Fox News' Shep Smith told his audience that Trump is creating a false narrative by claiming, "[Players] were attacking the national anthem, attacking the troops, attacking the flag. None of which they are doing. They're not doing any of that."
On Fox News, Shep Smith is constantly the voice of reason on a network dedicated to apologizing and promoting Trump's every whim.
Smith acknowledged Trump knows his base's jingoism all too well and said, "It's very clear that for his base this is the red meat of all red meat because they're able to re-frame this."
He continued, "They're able to say,' oh, they're attacking the National Anthem, they're attacking the troops, they're attacking the flag. None of which they are doing. They are not doing any of that."
"They're [Players] upset about racial injustice in the country, and they're upset about the things that the president has said, and yet he's able to turn it around for his base," Smith said. "Is this all a play to his base, and could it possibly be so they do not notice, there is no health care and North Korea is the biggest mess since the cold war?"
The Politico's Rachel Blade said this tactic definitely "plays up to the core of his base."
Rachel said Republicans on the Hill don't find this helpful at all and admitted this to her.
She said, "These protesters were a few players and they're barely getting any headlines, and then Trump attacks them and attacked the NFL, and since then, he ratcheted it up so now you have 200 players taking a knee or back in the locker room, not standing for the National Anthem - people, in general, don't like it when folks protest the National Anthem - "
Smith replied, "Of course, they're not protesting the National Anthem. That is not what they are doing."
"And we're complicit!" Smith said.
She made the point that people are upset because Trump is bullying black players right after his Charlottesville nightmare.
And the media is complicit when they do not make the distinction that what the players are protesting is not what Trump says they are.