Last night, President Trump crossed an unprecedented line when he publicly criticized FOX News, the network that has been slavishly carrying water for him and his disastrous administration from day one.
Smarting from perceived criticism leveled at him by FOX host John Roberts and FOX correspondent Gillian Turner during a shutdown “winners and losers” discussion last night, Trump took to Twitter and raged, lumping them in with the “FAKE NEWS” at CNN and NBC.
He claimed that they simply don’t “understand his wall negotiations” and hinting that in fact, his humiliating defeat at the hands of the air traffic controllers’ union was part of some grand scheme to ultimately get his wall.
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Never thought I’d say this but I think @johnrobertsFox and @GillianHTurner @FoxNews have even less understanding of the Wall negotiations than the folks at FAKE NEWS CNN & NBC! Look to final results! Don’t know how my poll numbers are so good, especially up 19% with Hispanics?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2019
This morning, FOX News anchor Julie Banderas fired back at the president sticking up for the president and reminding him that unlike the president’s favorite talking heads on FOX and Friends, these reporters do actual journalism and report facts, not opinions, albeit facts that are twisted and cherry-picked to support FOX’s right-wing agenda.
@realDonaldTrump This is NOT right. I stand by my colleagues @johnrobertsFox and @GillianHTurner They don’t deserve this. No reporter does. They are doing their jobs and reporting the facts. They are not opinion journalists and deserve the respect from the @WhiteHouse they cover. https://t.co/ftRPauopjC
— Julie Banderas (@JulieBanderas) January 28, 2019
The clash between the two is very illuminating, for several reasons. It’s a sharp reminder that the president will brook no deviation from the orthodoxy of Trump, dismissing any and all criticism as unforgivable heresy no matter who the source is or how correct it is.
It’s also a warning shot at the president, reminding him that the support of FOX News is not a guarantee and that they have the ability to make his life exponentially more difficult if they so choose — not to mention their ability to take a hacksaw to his ego should they so choose, considering that his mental stability appears to be inextricably linked to the amount of pro-Trump FOX propaganda he consumes on a daily basis.
It will be very interesting indeed to see how the president chooses to respond to this, knowing that he is incapable of letting even the most minor of criticisms go unchallenged, especially when the criticizer is a woman.