Fox News reporter Chris Wallace followed in his father’s footsteps yesterday, accountability framed by hard questions; or were they? Wallace, the host of Fox News Sunday, did what every other journalist since 2015 should have done with the President, in essence, make him prove it. Obviously, Mr. Trump granted the interview with Wallace because he perceived the station as a non-threatening territory. To his credit, Wallace recalled the lessons of his father [Mike Wallace] and challenged Mr. Trump’s version of the truth, in other words, he did not let his lies slide. Mr. Trump was so frustrated by real questions and not fawning sycophancy that at one point he accused Wallace of being a part of the ‘fake news.’
Trump sees Fox for what it is, an extension of the White House press machine and if any reporter strays off the golf course he is ready to pounce, “I’m not a big fan of ‘Fox,’ I’ll be honest with you. They’ve changed a lot since Roger Ailes [died],” Trump chided Wallace. It is widely known that the late Roger Ailes wanted Fox News to exist as a counterpoint for the next Republican president brought up on charges. Journalist John Cook found a memo annotated by Ailes that set what he felt was the course for conservative news. The memo started with the ominous phrase, “the thinking is done for you.”
Spending or wasting time pointing out the lies of Donald Trump is a well-worn, continuous exercise but not without purpose. I will leave the reviews of Mr. Wallace’s interview with Mr. Trump to the fact-checkers. What we should gain from the interview is that if you stand with the truth liars grow weaker, less effective, and more lonely. More and more the GOP political chattering class is becoming isolated to Roger Ailes’ view of utopia, where truth has no place and propaganda resides in a gold-plated penthouse. As a result, GOP Senators, Representatives, Governors, and Mayors are embarrassed publicly by the wavering disloyalty of the President.
One example is Georgia Governor Brian Kemp who vowed to open his state prior to meeting CDC protocol because he was obediently following the implicit orders of his president. Only to have the President, a day later, say he disagreed with Kemp’s plans.
Chris Wallace finally reached a journalistic breaking point, the President stomped his feet, held his breath and in the middle of his tantrum, Wallace pointed to the newscaster woodshed as if to say, ok, I’ve had it. Fumbling and sweating, like a man caught with his hand in the cash drawer, Trump dispatched his henchwoman, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, on frantic sprints to bring him non-existent proof of his lies. Wallace sat patiently as Mr. Trump tried to skew facts, search for proof that was not there, and attribute fictional statements to his opponent, Joe Biden, quietly retorting, “Sir, he does not.”
I have lost track of the number of Campaign Manager(s), Chief(s) of Staff and coffee boys hired and fired by Mr. Trump. His loyalty—Jeff Sessions, is as fleeting as his truth. The deck chairs need rearranging and the November iceberg is just over the next wave.
Vote in 2020 for Change.