Donald Trump and Fox News are both being criticized for a Monday interview in which the right wing media outlet quotes the former president repeatedly ratcheting up the anger in his base over the FBI’s lawful execution of a search warrant while claiming he will do whatever he can to help the country.
“Interesting … stenographic choices in the morning’s lead story,” notes Wayne State journalism professor Fred Vultee, pointing out Fox News’ uncritical copying of whatever the former President told them despite appearing to be under criminal investigation for possible violations of the Espionage Act and other federal laws. Vultee, who teaches news editing, political communication, and content analysis, according to his bio, also notes Fox News incorrectly spelled dangerous as “dangrous.”
— Fred Vultee (@fredvultee) August 15, 2022
Media Matters’ Matthew Gertz described it as: “Arsonist tells accomplice that the fire has gotten out of hand.”
Attorney and former Republican Ron Filipkowski made a similar observation: “Arsonist Offers To Help Put Out Fire.”
In its “exclusive” article Fox News writes, “Former President Trump said he ‘will do whatever’ he can ‘to help the country,’ after the FBI’s raid of his Mar-a-Lago home last week, telling Fox News Digital that the ‘temperature has to be brought down,’ while stressing that the American people are ‘not going to stand for another scam.’”
Rather than trying to bring the temperature of his supporters down, Trump appeared to stoke the fire.
“The country is in a very dangerous position. There is tremendous anger, like I’ve never seen before, over all of the scams, and this new one—years of scams and witch hunts, and now this,” Trump told Fox News. “There has never been a time like this where law enforcement has been used to break into the house of a former president of the United States, and there is tremendous anger in the country—at a level that has never been seen before, other than during very perilous times.”
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Trump continued. “It is a very dangerous time for our country.”
Visiting Georgetown University professor Thomas Zimmer observes: “Unity; avoiding tensions; lowering the temperature – It all sounds fine in a vacuum. But in the concrete context of the current political conflict, it all basically means the same thing: Impunity for Trump, surrendering to the Right; sacrificing democracy and the rule of law.
Fox News also reports “Trump said he had his representatives reach out to the Justice Department to offer to help amid outrage over the FBI’s unprecedented raid on his private residence last week,” and he “told Fox News that his team ‘has not heard yet’ from the Justice Department on whether they will accept his offer for help.”
“People are so angry at what is taking place,” Trump added. “Whatever we can do to help—because the temperature has to be brought down in the country. If it isn’t, terrible things are going to happen.”
Trump re-upped the claim that the FBI could have planted evidence, even after falsely declaring all documents were legally declassified.
“They could take anything they want, and put anything they want in,” Trump said, adding, baselessly, they “could have planted anything they wanted.”
Fox News did not appear to offer any clarification or push back against anything Trump said. It also offered no balance, including any quotes from legal experts or political experts, nor did the Fox News article offer any reaction from the left, where there too is tremendous anger over Trump allegedly taking and refusing to return 35 cartons of materials from the White House, including highly classified documents, according to the federal warrant and news reports.
The Fox News article ends by saying, “sources close to Trump told Fox News that the former president will soon be making an announcement about a potential presidential run in 2024.”