Donald Trump is an avid fan of Fox News. It has been reported that he usually watches Fox News (and other cable news networks) every morning between around 5 AM and noon. While he is watching television, he frequently rage tweets about what he is viewing and will even call in to his favorite show — “Fox and Friends” — to offer his own commentary. Political allies will even appear on Fox News in an attempt to influence Trump’s decisions.
As we all know, Trump began to receive numerous warnings from the U.S. intelligence community beginning in early January about the dangers posed by the corona virus pandemic. Unfortunately, as we also know, Trump didn’t read many of the warnings and failed to act on the ones that he bothered to read.
Between January and mid-March, Trump took the position that the corona virus was the Democrats’ “new hoax” similar to impeachment. In addition, Trump predicted several times that the pandemic would disappear and the numbers would soon go down to zero.
At the same time, perhaps not coincidentally, the leading entertainers on Fox News also shared Trump’s opinion that the pandemic was a political weapon being used by the Democrats to win the election. On February 27, Sean Hannity — Trump’s good friend and ardent supporter — sarcastically said on the air that: “The apocalypse is imminent and you’re going to all die, all of you in the next 48 hours. And it’s all President Trump’s fault.” Hannity also asserted on March 9 that: “They’re scaring the living hell out of people and I see it again as like, Oh, let’s bludgeon Trump with this new hoax.’”
At the same time Fox’s most popular entertainers were ridiculing the serious threat caused by the pandemic, Fox News employees were social distancing and working from home pursuant to company policy. Moreover, Rupert Murdoch canceled a large March 11 birthday party he had planned on account of the corona virus.
Subsequently, Fox News did a 180 on Covid-19. For example, Hannity claimed on the air on March 18 that: “This program has always taken the corona virus seriously and we’ve never called the virus a hoax.” You can’t make this stuff up. Hannity and Fox are treating their viewers like idiots.
In any event, this flip flop marked the period of time when the Trump Administration began to finally take the crisis seriously. Unfortunately, it has been too little, too late. Thousands of Americans have died due to the Administration’s negligence.
Subsequently, in mid-April Fox did yet another flip flop and began to encourage those protesting stay at home orders and social distancing. (Interestingly enough, the Fox News entertainers egged on these risky activities from the safety of their homes.) Trump jumped into the fray on April 17 and tweeted liberate Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia. Since those tweets, Trump has shifted his focus to re-opening the economy and has put snuffing out the virus on the back burner.
The kind of catastrophe that this country has experienced is what happens when you turn over the country to Fox News and a former TV reality star. As former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum once said: “Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us and now we’re discovering we work for Fox.” Unfortunately for all of us, a Fox News junkie is now the president and he is being blindly followed by the Republicans in Congress.
It is no coincidence that this is the second consecutive Republican administration to lead the United States into disaster. This is the direct result of the GOP’s bankrupt governing philosophy that rejects science, expertise and government itself. The Republicans like to tell us that government doesn’t work and then they wreck government in order to prove it.
I would urge everybody to vote for the entire Democratic ticket this fall. Former Vice President Joe Biden is an expert at turning around a wrecked economy and ending pandemics. During the Obama Administration, Biden administered the 2009 Recovery Act — which was widely credited with ending the Bush recession. Moreover, Biden’s senior adviser Ron Klain was President Obama’s Ebola Czar. There were only four diagnosed Ebola cases in the entire U.S.
It is time for all Democrats to pledge to vote blue no matter who this November. The Democratic Party is the only check and balance on a radicalized GOP. United we are strong! United we will win!