Network personality Pete Hegseth sat down with Trump for a 15-minute session on Friday. “They set it up for us,” said Hegseth in introducing footage of the interview on Sunday’s edition of “Fox & Friends.” Well, of course they set it up for them! After all, Hegseth seeded his questions with Trump talking points and petty obsessions, and proceeding to premise his questions with Trump’s talking points.
“Who’s been your biggest opponent? Has it been Democrats resisting, has it been fake-news media, has it been deep-state leaks? When you think about it, what holds it up the most?” asked Hegseth.
When presented with that luscious platter, why would Trump ever assent to sitting before a real interviewer?
Not after this beaut from Hegseth: “Are Republican senators doing enough to have your back to get that health-care bill through?” he asked Trump at one point.
Perhaps Hegseth got a signal from someone rapping him for not being sufficiently sycophantic. So he threw this one out there, in reference to a Veterans Affairs accountability bill: “I open up the failing New York Times and the Washington Post this morning — no mention at all of this bill that you’re signing today. For veterans who are so passionate about this, it’s such a historic bill — are they going to cover this and if they don’t, why don’t they cover it the way they cover every breathless scandal in the media today?”
Second, Trump answers the question by saying this: “Well, I just heard today for the first time that Obama knew about Russia a long time before the election and he did nothing about it, but nobody wants to talk about that. The CIA gave him information on Russia a long time before … the election, and I hardly see it,” said Trump. “He should have done something about it, but you don’t read that.”
Keep the critiques coming. Though “Fox & Friends” and its supervisors are unlikely to care about broadsides coming from CNN and the Erik Wemple Blog, the more sunlight, the better. Perhaps voices of sanity within the network — and yes, detractors, there are some — will eventually push for comprehensive “Fox & Friends” reform. There is cause for pessimism on this front, however, considering that the program will have difficulty sinking to any new lows. As dreadful as was Hegseth’s shilling, it was merely routine “Fox & Friends” misfeasance.