Fox’s Outnumbered show was yet another revolution in the propagandistic spin on the news that Donald Trump gave orders to fire special counsel Robert Mueller but backed down after the White House counsel threatened to quit.
If you’ve gotten too dizzy to keep track, the spin on The New York Times bombshell has so far has gone from “didn’t happen” (Sean Hannity) to “OK, did happen” (Hannity, Laura Ingraham and more) to “we don’t believe it and we don’t care if it’s true or not” (Fox & Friends). At least, that’s what I’ve seen.
But Outnumbered, which airs at noon ET, made yet another turn to start justifying Trump’s behavior. The fact that the guest was non-attorney, Trump-lover Bernard McGuirk as well as the fact that all four cohosts were conservatives all but shouted that propaganda, not facts or law, was the priority.
First, we had the “non-story” spin, previously seen on Fox & Friends, with an added twist of conspiracy theorizing.
MCGUIRK: To me, it’s a joke, it’s a non-story, it’s a leak, you know, you have more FBI corruption and bias about to be exposed, you have Trump killing it over in Davos, and then they say, “Listen, let’s hand The New York Times some talking points.” … [The media] obsess over this while we have these other revelations coming out – a non-story.
… It’s an investigation in a desperate search for a crime is what it is and it’s tainted, it’s corrupt, the whole thing.
Lisa “Kennedy” Montgomery gave us the “Trump’s overall awesomeness dwarfs any possible obstruction of justice" vindication. “You have to be able to pull apart” this incident from the “phenomenal successes” in the Trump presidency, she said, because “They will continue to flourish as the president’s economic agenda really takes hold.”
Kennedy also shrugged off Trump’s behavior as a rookie’s mistake. “He’s a political novice,” she said, and probably “didn’t realize how serious it would be if he tried to unseat Mueller.” As if there was nothing concerning about, as Slate put it, “the head of state claiming essentially authoritarian powers to end criminal investigations into himself and his associates.”
Next, cohost Melissa Francis did her part to excuse Trump’s behavior. For extra sycophantic points, she built on the infamous memo "controversy" McGuirk hinted at that Fox Trumpers are using to discredit the Mueller investigation (while ignoring the reporting of Fox’s own Shepard Smith).
FRANCIS: If you tie this together with what I heard Congressman Peter King tell you this morning, where he said when we do finally see that memo about how this investigation started, we would be appalled that there isn’t, there wasn’t a reason to start it in the first place and that that is really going to be something that is … going to shock a lot of people. I can imagine that if that’s true, then the frustration over the investigation would make him feel like he wants to fire this guy, like this whole thing is very frustrating.
Cohost Harris Faulkner’s lapdog ears perked up. “That’s interesting!” she said, so excited she couldn’t wait for Francis to finish her point. “If we see the origin, what you’re saying is that some of this may fall into place.” You could almost hear her sighing in relief.
But McGuirk took the ignorant-shill cake:
MCGUIRK: It’s consistent with an innocent man, wanting to do this. And by the way, it’s a non-story because he didn’t fire him. That’s the point.
No, that isn’t the point at all. The point is that Trump took another step (after firing former FBI Director James Comey) indicating an intent to obstruct justice. The reason he reportedly chose not to was because McGahn threatened to quit, not because Trump thought it the wrong thing to do.
Watch Fox gaslight Trump’s guilty-looking behavior above, from the January 26, 2017 Outnumbered.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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