Closing on the 3 week mark for the trainwreck of a government shutdown. And here is were we’re starting to see the seams come undone. A payperiod has passed by, and government workers are feeling the heat. I have trouble believing that ALL of these people are prepared to make the necessary adjustments and have Trump’s back on this. But the thing is, Trump isn’t on the path to some big victory here. Quit the opposite. Republican leaders are calling on Trump to let this go. So who is this for anymore? I’ll tell you! Fox News! The unofficial echo chamber of the White House! They’re the only ones still egging Trump on with this border wall. They’re the ones that keep goading him to stick to his guns. Between Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs, the Fox wall of propaganda is keeping the pressure alive, and I get the feeling that he’ll keep fighting as long as they keep pushing. So get ready for a the long haul folks, because I don’t know that Sean Hannity even knows how to chill the hell out.
So, on November 5, Monday night, right before the most contentious midterms in modern history, Sean Hannity was brought up by Donald Trump to speak and endorse his political allies. Is that surprising? No. Not even kind of. Sean Hannity is a scumbag who doesn’t care one whit about professionalism in his career, unless he thinks someone else is being unprofessional. But still, people rightly had complaints about the optics of a journalist, who even as an editorialist, was stumping for Republicans. Using his platform as a person who is supposed to be outside that bubble, to endorse politicians is the worst kind of behavior. So again, not surprising, still gross and unprofessional on a profound level. Even Fox News found his political endorsements and verbal backstabbing of fellow reporters to be distasteful, and put out a statement suggesting that they were going to take some kind of action to which I say “HA!” Sean Hannity isn’t going to get so much as a wrist slap. He is the highest rated cable news show in the country. As gross as that sounds, the fact is that he’s the draw for many people to that network. Which is discouraging to think about, but true none the less. Sean Hannity is immune from basically any kind of action. He could drop kick a baby on the air, and Fox News would suggest that it isn’t up to the standards of their Network, and then wipe their hands of it.
Does Donald Trump ever have honest to goodness moments of clarity? I know it seems like a silly question, and the obvious answer might be “no”, but I do wonder…I mean, he clearly knows what the Mainstream media (aka, “the Fake News”) says about him. Thinks about his politics, his behavior. He has enough clarity to lie about what he does how he does them. If he knows enough to blatantly lie, then he has to recognize that the things he’s choosing to lie about deal in things he recognizes that people frown upon. In the wake of a couple weeks of falling poll numbers, Bob Woodward’s book, Paul Manafort cooperating with the feds, more lies about his border wall, it’s price, who’s paying for it, and of course the Anonymous Op-Ed from a West Wing staffer, the idea that people in his inner circle are going out of their way to keep him from being able to make bad decisions…I genuinely wonder if he goes to bed at night and wonders…even sometimes, and thinks that maybe HE’S the problem. I dunno. Maybe I’m trying to attribute just a little bit of humility to a man that has none.
I know I’m not the first person to point this out, especially on this particular subject, but man…hypocrisy is a bad color on anyone, and you just can’t afford to express a roaringly loud double standard in the age where everything is archived and readily available. Sean Hannity doesn’t get to blast Obama for conversing with dictators and giving them more time than our allies then defend Trump on the same count 5 years later and not be called on it. He just can’t. Because nothing is truly forgotten anymore. Sean Hannity’s little man-crush on Trump shines all the brighter as a result.
I might be going crazy, but did Sean Hannity just try to tamper with witnesses in an ongoing federal investigation? I mean, he literally went on the air, and told anyone who was a witness in the investigation that before they hand over their phones to Mueller, that they should methodically (and he was alarmingly specific about what he thinks they should do) destroy the data on their phones, before physically destroying the actual phones, then hand THAT over to Mueller. Considering that Paul Manafort is under the gun for Witness Tampering, I’d have thought other Trump associates would be working a bit harder to keep themselves off that particular radar, yet here Hannity is, trying to outsmart the feds. But it appears even the brilliant mind of Sean Hannity can’t recall every method of getting past the long reach of the Feds.
Trump is shaking things up with his legal team. He’s brought on an old White House bulldog of a lawyer, Emmet Flood, who could potentially be quite a benefit to the Trump legal team. So to balance out that intelligent move, he made a crazy, possibly suicidal move to really keep us all on our toes, by bringing on Rudy Giuliani as well. I know that Giuliani has a good reputation during his time as mayor in New York, but in recent years, the man has kind of gone off the rails. Naturally, the first thing he does as soon as he’s appointed is to go on Sean Hannity to torpedo Trump’s cases. Among the fun things revealed in that interview, he said that Trump did in fact reimburse Michael Cohen for his $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels. Despite his backtracking immediately after that statement, there is no way that revelation, or any of the others that Giuliani continues to unleash off the cuff, could benefit Trump’s position. I think it’s time for Rudy to officially retire from being the crazy old Republican bullhorn.
Here’s the thing about Hannity and Cohen: I’m having trouble getting too upset about it. Sure, it’s weird that Hannity would use Cohen, considering what his “legal” expertise and practice was used for, and I’d be willing to bet Hannity has some things he’d rather not have disclosed publically, but I really just don’t care much in terms of the ethics of it. Both because I don’t think much of Sean Hannity’s ethics anyway, but also because I can’t apply journalistic standards of ethics to Hannity, as I don’t consider him a journalist. I don’t think many people do. He’s a TV personality that occasionally brings up things in the news, but he doesn’t report things. He editorializes and gives a narrative about it. Usually a scumbaggy narrative that involves slander and defamation. Regardless, it would be like if Jon Stewart and Barack Obama had the same personal attorney when Obama was in office. Sure, some conservatives would probably wanna cry about it, but as Steward himself has said time and again, he’s an entertainer, not a journalist.
So, Fox News didn’t mention Stormy Daniels at any point during the day on Monday. The day after a quite devastating interview that puts a pretty negative light on their Meal Ticket, and they don’t even mention it. They spend some time bashing Hillary, but they don’t dignify the affair of their Savior or the prospect that he might have had her threatened to keep her from telling people about it with any kind of response. Now, they might argue that an alleged affair that Trump denies is personal business, and not “real news”, but the fact that he has taken steps to keep it quiet, while possibly authorizing someone to threaten her definitely is. I suppose there’s a reason Fox News doesn’t label themselves as “Fair and Balanced” anymore.
So Trump is…I don’t know if I’d call it a 180 on gun control provisions…but he’s definitely sounding…dare I say…somewhat reasonable? It’s weird to see him step so far away from his base’s views on anything. I mean, the VAST majority of Americans overwhelmingly favor some new measure of gun control. That is indisputable, but the very vocal minority, the people who comprise the loudest segment of Trump’s base, do not. So for Trump to come out and say he’s down for confiscating guns from mentally ill people, and for raising the age of purchase on certain firearms…I mean it’s a weird pivot that I’m not sure anyone saw coming. It’s a welcome one. But it also is so out of character for him that I would feel weird trusting it. I don’t know whether to expect him to go back on it tomorrow and say he never said any such thing in the first place.
One of my favorite news stories of the last few weeks was hearing that just prior to Fox/Disney merger, Trump called Rupert Murdoch to ask if Fox News was part of the deal. I just love the idea that Trump would make a panicked phone call, afraid that the only news outlet that likes him would stop sucking up to him.