Fox News Channel is lashing out at Republicans for insufficient loyalty to Donald Trump as his legislative agenda continues to collapse and scandal engulfs his unpopular presidency.
Fox News Channel is having a hard time watching the Republican presidency they were key in building collapse on the weight of its own incompetency, and has begun lashing out at fellow conservatives for their role in the health care repeal debacle.
On Monday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the woefully unpopular plan would be pulled because of insurmountable Republican opposition — Democrats stood united, without a single defection. On Tuesday, "Fox & Friends" co-host Brian Kilmeade declared, during an interview with former George W. Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer, that those senators are "just not true to their party, and maybe not true to their country."
KILMEADE: You have Rand Paul, extreme conservative/libertarian, Ted Cruz, OK I'm going to make my hands dirty and make it work somehow. And then you got moderates, like Senator Portman — listened to his governor. And have you Senator Collins, who said, "I got some huge blowback when I went back." So these people are being true to their school, just not true to their party, and maybe not true to their country. The president said before this didn't — before he knew that these two — he had these two defectors, reported, according to Politico, he goes, "If the Senate Republicans don't get this thing done, they'll look like dopes." Do they look like dopes?
FLEISCHER: He's right. It's not a question of being true to your party or true to your country. It's a question of being true to your word. They should not have elevated the issue for eight years among Republicans, saying, "First thing we'll do is repeal and replace," if they weren't capable of doing it.
The "Fox & Friends" crew has carved out a niche for themselves as the most pro-Trump show on the quasi-official Trump propaganda network — although Sean Hannity is nipping at their heels in that regard every night. Their paranoid world view is often a reliable window into how Trump and his team are currently viewing things.
It is even more jarring to see the definition of patriotism being defined down into loyalty to Trump, while Fox continues to throw up a parade of justifications for the Trump campaign's collusion with Russia to influence the outcome of the election.
In the ongoing Fox News calculus, the true disloyalty to the country is opposing Trump, which is an extension of the cult of personality and authoritarian right-wing world view that Trump has espoused.
Fox is still in trouble. Its ratings are not as strong as they once were, especially compared with other channels, and the fallout from the serial sexual abuse of founder Roger Ailes and former host Bill O'Reilly continues to drag the network down. With Trump, they have hitched their wagon to an unpopular president and the Republican Party that has given in to him completely.
Everything is spiraling out of control, and Fox is looking for something to hit. Usually that's liberals and Democrats, who have been the network's punching bags for over 20 years. But now they're throwing punches at their own, and they have Donald Trump to thank.