Charles Blow: 'Fox & Friends' Is Trump's Real Cabinet
Donald Trump’s official cabinet is a collection of uniquely unqualified and malevolent people. To pick just one example, it’s unconscionable that Betsy DeVos, a woman whose life’s work is destroying public education, has suddenly become responsible for it.
Unfortunately for America, the horrors don't end there. Trump has a shadow cabinet in Fox News, specifically the weekday morning show Fox and Friends. As Charles Blow writes in his Monday column, the news program has essentially become Donald Trump’s daily briefing.”
It’s not just embarrassing that the president of the United States is taking his policy cues from a group of television pundits, it’s downright dangerous. Blow points to an analysis of the show by Punditfact, a project of the Tampa Bay Times and the Poynter Institute that analyzes the accuracy of claims made by various media pundits. The organization found that, "of the statements on Fox that have been fact-checked, only 10 percent were rated true, while a full 60 percent were rated either mostly false, false or 'pants on fire,' the worst possible rating."
But this analysis only scratches the surface of Fox & Friends' mendacity. Blow reminds us that co-host Brian Kilmeade once said, “‘the Swedes have pure genes because they marry other Swedes,’ and of Finland he said, ‘Finns marry other Finns so they have a pure society,’ which was apparently better than America because, ‘We keep marrying other species and other ethnics.’”
In a lawsuit, former co-host Gretchen Carlson accused co-host Steve Doocy of a “pattern and practice of severe and pervasive sexual harassment,” in part because he wouldn’t accept her as a fellow journalist but rather “a blond female prop.”
The impact, Blow continues, “is undeniable.” Politico observed months ago that the President is essentially, “live-tweeting” Fox’s coverage, and “Vox noted that at times he seems to be tweeting precisely what he sees on the show, sometimes even using their exact language.” Adds Blow: “Trump had tweeted about the show roughly twice as often as about the stock market and roughly three times more often than about the border wall.”
Fox News has always been in a bad actor in American news media. Blow himself stopped appearing on the network when he realized that he was "being used to help give the show the appearance of fairness, impartiality and legitimacy, when it was anything but." Under President Trump, it has only grown more nefarious, serving as a de facto mouthpiece for the administration. Blow leaves us with a "horror-inducing" thought: "In a way, America is being governed by the dimmest of wits on the most unscrupulous of networks."
Read the entire column here.