Fox News loves Trump, constantly promoting his agenda and excusing his bad behavior. But sometimes even Fox just can't handle him.
Fox News is a right-wing propaganda network dedicated to propping up Trump and his fellow Republicans while attacking and smearing Democrats.
But sometimes the shills at Fox News have seen behavior and actions from Trump that are so far beyond the pale that the network is forced to admit he's gone over the line.
1. In March, Trump gave a speech that was supposed to be about infrastructure. But, as so often happens, the speech devolved into a 50-minute long, garbled mess — including yet another rant about the 2016 election. So the cable news networks cut away from the train wreck. Even Fox.
2. Trump has repeatedly attacked Amazon, whose founder and CEO Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post, which has published extensive reporting on Trump's seemingly endless corruption. When Trump lied and claimed that Amazon was taking advantage of the Postal Service — and somehow taxpayers were footing the bill — Fox anchor Shepard Smith had to explain all the ways Trump was wrong.
"It is somewhat hard to imagine that the president doesn’t realize that tax dollars do not go to the post office," Smith said.
"It’s not like someone has said ‘We’re losing tax dollars,'" he continued. "No one’s ever said this. That’s not a thing.”
3. Trump became increasingly agitated and ugly during the confirmation hearing of his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in the fall. When Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came forward with credible allegations that Kavanaugh had tried to rape her when they were both in high school, Trump used one of his rallies to viciously mock her heartbreaking testimony. The mockery was so distasteful that the hosts of "Fox & Friends" — Trump's favorite show, which he regularly praises — called out his behavior and questioned the "wisdom" of going after an assault victim.
4. Before the midterm elections, Trump's team put together a racist ad blaming undocumented immigrants for a tragic murder and alleging that Democrats were at fault for allowing a killer into the country. While promoting racist propaganda against undocumented immigrants is a regular feature for Fox News, the ad was so egregious that Fox followed the lead of other outlets and decided to pull the ad out of rotation. For perhaps the first time ever, something was too racist for Fox News.
5. At a campaign rally in Montana, Trump praised the state's Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte for his assault on a reporter the year before, calling Gianforte "my kind of guy." He even re-enacted the incident. A panel of guests on Fox's media criticism show "Media Buzz" then took Trump to task. Mildly.
6. Trump regularly calls the free press "the enemy of the people," something even Trump's cheerleaders on "Fox & Friends" don't approve of.
"The press isn't the enemy of the people," host Brian Kilmeade said in October after yet another Trump rant.
"I don't think so either," his co-host Steve Doocy added.
7. Fox has repeatedly bashed other networks for reporting the unflattering truth about Republicans and conservatives. But when the White House revoked the press pass of CNN reporter Jim Acosta for his aggressive questioning, Fox sided with CNN. Fox News President Jay Wallace said in a statement that Fox would file an amicus brief with the court and that "Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized."
8. At a Trump rally in July, Trump delivered an unhinged and baseless rant about why we should have stricter voter ID laws.
"If you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card," Trump said. “You need ID. You go out and you want to buy anything, you need ID. And you need your picture." The lie was so absurd that Fox News reporter John Roberts laughed on air the next day while reporting it.
"Just a personal observation here," Roberts said. "When I’ve been to the grocery store and bought beer or wine, they ask me for my ID. But certainly not when I buy eggs, milk, butter or anything else."
9. Fox also had to laugh at Trump's demand for a military parade as the network took note of "a collective eye roll from military leaders" at the Pentagon in response to the childish request.
"Most thought it was a joke at first," Fox's national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin said.
10. Over the summer, Trump held a disastrous press conference, standing beside Russian dictator Vladimir Putin as he and sided with the Russian leader and against U.S. law enforcement, which determined that Russia tried to influence the 2016 election. The gang at "Fox & Friends" had to drop their kneejerk support for Trump and grudgingly admit "he fell short" at the appearance.
11. Fox host Neil Cavuto also weighed in on what he called Trump's "disgusting" pro-Putin display.
"A U.S. president on foreign soil, talking to our biggest enemy or adversary or competitor — I don’t know how we define them these days — is essentially letting the guy get away with this, and not even offering a mild criticism,” Cavuto said. "That sets us back a lot."
12. Trump has repeatedly called special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of his campaign's interactions with Russian influence operations a "hoax." But in February, when the first indictments of Trump insiders started coming, Fox host Shepard Smith explained to his audience just how wrong Trump was.
"The Russians infiltrated our system, manipulated us on behalf of Vladimir Putin — and they did it online and in person on our soil. If there was ever any question, even a single question, there is no more,” Smith said.
"Russians, thought to be Americans, working with Trump supporters or allies to do politics together,” he continued. "The Russia investigation is the opposite of a hoax."
13. Repeatedly plagued by talk of impeachment, thanks to his corrupt behavior, Trump said if he was ever impeached "the market would crash" and "everybody would be poor." Fox host Neil Cavuto called out that dangerous rhetoric.
"You don't prevent a constitutional crisis by threatening a financial one," he said.
14. Trump has repeatedly complained about the Justice Department, which was led by Jeff Sessions until Trump finally fired him. In one particularly awkward and embarrassing phoned-in interview with "Fox & Friends," Trump attacked the DOJ for its investigation into his campaign's possible collusion with Russia. But attacking his own DOJ became too much even for host Steve Doocy.
"It’s your Department of Justice!" Doocy stressed. “Mr President, you’re the Republican in charge — you’ve got a Republican running it!”
15. Trump has repeatedly embarrassed himself and the country with over-the-top praise of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and claims that North Korea is making concessions it isn't actually making. In August, "Fox & Friends" host Brian Kilmeade couldn't take it anymore and felt compelled to fact-check Trump's ridiculous tweeted lies, pointing out the brutal regime was actually not cooperating with the U.S.
The vast majority of the time, Fox News will justify and amplify Trump's ridiculous and dangerous behavior, marching in lockstep with the Republican Party.
Sometimes, however, Trump goes so far off the rails that even Fox — its reporters, hosts, and even president — feel compelled to point out where he's gone wrong. For an outlet that traffics in smears, lies, and shameless propaganda, that's really saying something.
Published with permission of The American Independent.