Say goodbye to retired General Thomas McInerney on Fox News. The network decided it was time to pull the plug on using the ex-military analyst for calling Senator John McCain, “Songbird John,” whilst defending torture.
A Fox spokeswoman tells me that Thomas McInerney will no longer be invited on Fox Biz or Fox News as a guest… https://t.co/W07VCwMJ2A
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 11, 2018
This is honestly a “no-brainer” and was probably something the company decided- or should have decided- at least a day after his insipid comment aired on Fox Business. Charles Payne was quick to distance himself from McInerney’s point of view by first apologizing on Twitter then on air. AP wrote a roundup on McInerney’s ridiculous statement, so there’s no point in going through it again. It should be pointed out McInerney has yet to apologize, which he probably should do or at least let it leak out he has for optics sake.
Someone else who is eating a bit of crow over comments about the cancer-striken McCain is Special Assistant to President Donald Trump Kelly Riddell Sadler. Via CNN:
White House aide Kelly Sadler promised Meghan McCain she would apologize publicly for mocking her father’s health, a source familiar with the conversation has told CNN, but Sadler has yet to do so.
Sadler, a special assistant for surrogate communications, made the promise in an apologetic phone call to McCain after it was reported that she had jokingly said of Sen. John McCain, “he’s dying anyway,” in response to his opposition to President Donald Trump’s pick for CIA director, Gina Haspel. The Republican senator is currently at home in Arizona as he battles brain cancer after receiving a diagnosis last year.
During the phone call, McCain told Sadler she needed to apologize publicly, and the White House aide said she would, according to the source. As of Sunday, however, neither the White House nor Sadler has made a public apology.
Sadler did not immediately return a request for comment Sunday.
Sadler has been off Twitter since the end of January so it’s unlikely an apology will come from there, but you never know. It will be interesting to see if a public apology does come because Axios reports the Trump Administration’s communications team wants to stand around Sadler like a shield wall.
At one point, per a source in the room, White House strategic communications director Mercedes Schlapp interjected with a word of support for Sadler:
“You can put this on the record… I stand with Kelly Sadler.”
A source close to Schlapp told me that “her point was that when one staff member is publicly targeted by other members of the staff, she thinks that’s inappropriate and the team should support staffers who are subjected to leaks.”
I understand Schlapp’s reasoning for her support but I’m not sure it’s a good idea. Sadler’s joke isn’t exactly something one should say in the halls of government or really on TV. United fronts are one thing but united fronts for making a rather odorous statement are far from wise.
It should be pointed out I’m no fan of McCain’s politics. I believe his interventionist foreign policy and support of NSA spying are rather untenable. His proposed federal bailout of underwater mortgages in 2008 are about a free market as much any other bailout… that is to say, “Not at all.” His support of certain gun control measures are also nonstarters. His opinion on Citizens United is also wrong because it goes against the First Amendment.
Yet, McCain is also someone who served his country with honor even if he should have retired from public service years ago. He fought in Vietnam and the injuries he suffered whilst in North Vietnamese custody cannot be ignored. Here’s hoping a public apology happens at some point even if it’s only via statement or on Twitter. Not apologizing is a bad idea.