Lotta excited chirps about this from Trump critics today.
Spent last night flipping back and forth between MSNBC & the alternative facts world of Fox and thought there’s no hope. Then after listening to Neil Cavuto, I thought, like the rose in Spanish Harlem, the truth just might be pushing up through the concrete.
— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) May 4, 2018
Even a Fox News host who’s unleashed has to be a *little* careful about how he addresses Trump, though. At one point here Cavuto says, “Now, I’m not saying you’re a liar — you’re president, you’re busy — I’m just having a devil of a time figuring out which news is ‘fake.'” Spoiler: He is, in fact, saying that Trump is a liar. A big one.
What makes this extra interesting is the fact that another influential news outlet owned by Rupert Murdoch, the Wall Street Journal, also let Trump have it in an editorial last night. Headline: “The Stormy Daniels Damage: Does Trump want Americans to believe him in a genuine crisis?”
Mr. Trump’s public deceptions are surely relevant to his job as President, and the attempted cover-up has done greater harm than any affair would have. Mr. Trump asked Americans, not least his supporters, to believe his claims about the payments. They were false and conveniently so in putting the onus on Mr. Cohen. Now, as more of the story has emerged, he wants everyone to believe a new story that he could have told the first time.
Mr. Trump is compiling a record that increases the likelihood that few will believe him during a genuine crisis—say, a dispute over speaking with special counsel Robert Mueller or a nuclear showdown with Kim Jong Un. Mr. Trump should worry that Americans will stop believing anything he says.
Are there any Americans left who are persuadable on whether to believe the things Trump says? The hashtag-Resistance thinks every word he says is a lie, including “and” and “the.” MAGA Nation simply doesn’t care and nothing will change that. There are millions of people between those two poles, granted, but I don’t think they lie on a spectrum of credulity. Everyone understands that he lies opportunistically all the time. I think the spectrum has to do with how much the lying bothers them — that is, whether he’s delivering enough on policy to make them indifferent to it. If the economy cruises along and he pulls off a peace deal in North Korea, who cares that he lied about paying off his porn-star girlfriend? If the economy tanks, then people will “care” — not because they honestly care but because they’ll be annoyed at him for the economic downturn and suddenly willing to entertain all manner of lesser grievances to feed that annoyance.
I don’t think the Murdoch outlets are coordinating their message either. Cavuto and the Journal probably dinged him on the same day for no better reason than that they’re exasperated at the sheer transparency of the BS being pushed by Giuliani in the past 24 hours. If you’re going to lie nonstop, at least come up with something better than “Trump reimbursed Cohen but had no idea what he was reimbursing him for.” Good lord. Republicans who aren’t hardcore Trump fans are willing to roll with the lies, but don’t insult their intelligence.
By the way, does no one else remember that Cavuto uncorked a similar rant at POTUS last summer? Every year or so he unburdens himself on air, like a ritual cleansing. I think it’s good for Fox to have the daytime hosts do this sort of thing too, as it gives them something to point to when they’re accused of being “state media” or a Trump propaganda outlet. You’ll never hear this rant in primetime or on “Fox & Friends” but occasionally you’ll hear it at 4 p.m. or on Shep’s show. Check the box on keeping POTUS honest during the daylight hours and then you can go full MAGA in the evening, when the big audiences show up.