Brit Hume played the role of the serious journalist Monday with a nod to Larry Kudlow's confession that Trump's ridiculous tariffs will be paid by American consumers. As if this were actually a debate.
During a segment with Bret Baier, Hume gave the impression he was actually interested in informing viewers while spreading a bit of "Republican orthodoxy."
“Certainly the heartland of America will suffer and the agriculture sector that will suffer more than most,” Hume opined. “Whether that can be sufficiently offset with the kind of support that the president and his advisers are talking about, so as to prevent Trump from suffering at the polls in the election coming up remains to be seen.”
Bret Baier observed that it's not really "Republican orthodoxy" to pay farmers off in the form of subsidies. (Note to reader: it is ABSOLUTELY Republican orthodoxy. See Bachmann, Michele for an example.)
“And it costs a lot of money,” Hume told Baier. “The tariffs cost money. And Larry Kudlow is right. Trump is wrong. China does not pay these, consumers pay them.”
Why does this even have to be said? Doesn't it go without saying that slapping tariffs on Chinese goods means prices will be higher? I'm at a loss to understand why this is hard. At least, I was.
But here's why it's hard. Over on Fox News' sister channel, Fox Business, Lou Dobbs is busy lying to viewers.
Yep, that's Lou Dobbs with guest Bill Lee, who is expressing disgust that everybody keeps saying consumers pay for tariffs. Lou, of course, agrees with him.
BILL LEE (GUEST): Let me add one thing. I am so sick and tired of people saying that it's the American consumer that's paying for these tariffs. One of the first things you learn in international economics is it's the importers of the goods paying that are paying the tariffs. Now the importers are both American and Chinese firms, but more importantly the importers are going to do their darndest to push the prices back for Chinese, not the American consumer.
LOU DOBBS (HOST): This is such an important point. If you will break that down one more time, begin at the beginning for our viewers. Because we're watching some of the business press in this country, the political press, the left-wing media, I mean they are spewing such nonsense about tariffs, that I think what you're saying needs to be underlined.
This is how Fox News serves Dear Leader while pretending they actually do real news reporting. First they have their "serious" news guys say true things, while their flagship anchor on the Business network just lies outright to the True Believers over there.
Media Matters has put a whole study together about how this works. It turns out those "serious news" guys are just as good at spreading misinformation as the opinion folks are, on Fox "News" and Fox Business.
So who wins? Brit Hume or Lou Dobbs? In the end, they feed the confirmation bias for their hardcore audience and little more.