Dear Maria Bartiromo: The election’s over. And it has been over for weeks.

In what will be remembered as one of the Trump era’s foremost abdications of professional duty, the Fox News host said little in her phone interview with President Trump, which aired on this past Sunday’s edition of the program “Sunday Morning Futures.” And when she did speak, Bartiromo aided Trump in spinning his self-serving election conspiracy theories.

“This is disgusting. And we cannot allow America’s election to be corrupted. We cannot,” said the host after Trump talked about how he’d won the 2020 presidential election “easily” and that the election was “rigged.”

If Trump was at all worried about enduring any journalism on “Sunday Morning Futures,” Bartiromo surely set him at ease during her introduction:

It is great to have you. And I want to say that Americans today have a lot of questions this morning, Mr. President. We hope that you can be as precise as possible and we can get through as much as possible this morning. Thank you for talking with us, in the first interview since Election Day. Mr. President, you have said many times that this election was rigged, that there was much fraud, and the facts are on your side. Let’s start there. Please go through the facts. Characterize what took place.

Boldface added to highlight the moment when “Sunday Morning Futures” morphed into One America News. The facts, in fact, have lined up in fierce opposition to Trump and his failing effort to overturn the election. Any recap of this catastrophe should highlight Republicans’ bogus argument that GOP observers had been barred from the vote count in Pennsylvania and Michigan; the brute-force initiative to get Republican officials in key states to simply overturn the vote; judges’ dismissals of voter-fraud allegations by the Trump campaign; the stubborn reality that the Trump team has fallen shy of proving fraud; and the recounts in two Wisconsin counties — paid for by the Trump campaign — that netted an additional 87 votes for Joe Biden. The Post termed Trump’s attempt to convert defeat into victory via institutional manipulation “20 days of fantasy and failure.”

Yet “Sunday Morning Futures” was in a different reality. “Will we be hearing a victory in Pennsylvania in the next couple of days?” Bartiromo asked at one point, even though Biden won Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes. At another point, Bartiromo asked, “What’s your timing on this, Mr. President? … Because we have got some notable election dates here that I want to ask you what you believe you consider to be your drop-dead date in terms of proving this case. … When the states finalize elector appointments, or when electors cast votes in each state? Is it the vice president receiving electoral votes? Is it the House and Senate counting electoral votes? Or is it Inauguration Day, Jan. 20? How do you see it?”

How Trump responded to that line of questioning is of no concern here. What he said to Bartiromo, he’d already been saying on Twitter or in other settings over the past several weeks. He spent the entire time — about 45 minutes — ranting about alleged voter irregularities and fraud that his team has failed to prove.

The story here is Bartiromo, who’d watched all these events and somehow managed to dismiss them all. After a rebroadcast of “Sunday Morning Futures,” Fox News anchor Eric Shawn cited the interview and said, “He doubled down on his claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, even though local and national election officials as well as federal and state courts in multiple states — and in some cases, the Trump campaign’s own lawyers — have said there is no evidence to prove that and experts say such claims are simply unsupported falsehoods that are not backed up by any facts.”

More than two weeks after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election, Fox News opinion hosts have started to acknowledge Biden’s win. (The Washington Post)

There is no unitary version of Fox News. If you turn it on during a conspiracy hour, you’ll get conspiracy theories. If you turn it on during another hour, you may get some actual news. No guarantees.

The harmful embarrassment that played out on “Sunday Morning Futures” raises a question: Why is Bartiromo so blind to reality? Couldn’t she glimpse the obvious? Doesn’t she know that there will be a legitimately seated Biden administration quite soon? We’ve posed some questions to Fox News about how she views the incoming Biden administration. Has she, for example, expressed any internal misgivings over the call of the Fox News Decision Desk to proclaim Biden the winner? We’ll update with any response.

What we do know about Bartiromo is this: Over the next several years, she’ll be counterprogramming the Biden administration, welcoming guests who’ll hammer its personnel, policies, scandals, etc. Don’t be surprised to find a familiar face — or voice — on those broadcasts.

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