Jan
13
Fox News ERUPTS Into Chaos Over Impeachment


>>On-air, some Fox hosts are implying that
this whole Ukraine thing, this whole impeachment thing, there’s nothing there. It’s going away very soon. Others are taking it very seriously. Behind the scenes, bedlam apparently, according
to a new Vanity Fair article from Gabriel Sherman. This quote certainly stands out. It’s management bedlam, this massive thing
happened, and no one knows how to cover it. Which is perhaps why so many different shows
are covering it in such different ways. And in fact feuding with each other, as we’re
gonna get to in a little bit. Apparently this morning, Sean Hannity told
friends that the whistle-blower’s allegations are, quote, really bad, a person briefed on
Hannity’s conversations has told the author. Hannity did not respond to a request for comment,
but why would he? So obviously on his show he has been gung
ho, 100% there is nothing here. Our focus should instead be on a variety of
several year-old right wing conspiracy theories. Behind the scenes, he is telling his friends,
no, this is actually pretty serious.>>Yeah, so let’s be clear, they don’t really,
not really, they don’t have any defense. So I’m gonna explain it for the 17th time,
because apparently Fox News hosts don’t understand it. Although, to be fair, that is not really,
they’re now beginning to be significantly split. So last night, we talked to you about the
Fox News civil war. Tucker Carlson and Shep Smith at each other’s
throats. So we’ve got more news on that in a second. Chris Wallace continues it with Today. Chris Wallace with not only damning quotes
about Trump, but also going after his fellow Fox News hosts again. So this war will not abate at Fox News, because
some of them have broken ranks and going, no, it’s illegal. It’s just a lie to say it’s not illegal. So let me explain why it’s illegal for the
100th time for people who haven’t heard it before, or have listened to conservative news
and have never gotten facts. They keep saying as a defense like Ainsley
Earhardt did, there was no quid pro quo. First of all, that’s not true, there already
is quid pro quo in that call. Plus, let alone whatever they’re hiding in
the secret database, but you don’t need quid pro quo at all. So it’s so easy to show you guys. So if Bernie Sanders were to go to a foreign
government like, let’s say, North Korea, right? And he says, hey, when you’re talking to Donald
Trump, Kim Jong-un, can you do a quick favor for me? Just like Trump said, a favor, right? Just do me a favor, put a bug on him. And then tell me everything that he’s saying,
cuz I wanna use it as dirt in my political campaign. But Sanders does not promise Kim Jong-un anything
in return. Would that be illegal? The answer is yes, it would definitely be
illegal! And so when Trump asked for a favor from a
foreign government to help his political campaign, that’s already illegal. It does not need to be followed up by a and
then I promise you I’ll give you a dozen roses, box of chocolates, or $400 million of military
aid. It’s already illegal, a 100% illegal, indisputably
illegal! And I’ve actually haven’t heard what the Republican
defense of that is. Other than, squirrel, right?>>Mm-hm.>>So they’re like no quid pro quo! Yeah, but Hunter Biden did something! But there’s no actual defense, cuz it is indefensible. It is the most obviously-illegal thing that
we have seen. In fact, guys, I’m gonna go right now, because
this just happened a little bit before we went live. Chris Wallace’s quotes-
>>I’ve got one.>>You have them? Okay, so go ahead, John.>>We’re gonna jump to the last graphic in
this. This is one thing that Chris Wallace said. The spinning that has been done by the president’s
defenders over the last 24 hours since this very damaging whistleblower complaint came
out. The spinning is astonishing, and I think deeply
misleading. He is being just vague enough there, that
the people who he’s definitely talking about at Fox News can’t say that he attacked them. And we’ll get into why he’s worried about
being very specific there in a little bit. But he’s clearly talking about hosts on Fox
News that are using White House-approved talking points to defend them and to distract from
the issue.>>So I’ve got even more on Chris Wallace
in a minute, as we give you more details. But I wanna go to a little exchange that he
had with Sandra Smith, who is the host that he was talking to on Fox News at the time. So Sandra Smith interrupts him at one point
to say, well, hey, there’s no quid pro quo. Cuz that’s their main deflection point here. And Wallace says, you asked a question, let
me answer it, Sandra. He says, you don’t think that dirt on the
vice-president and his son’s activities, would be a value to our president seeking reelection? Now the reason he frames it that way is because,
in the law, soliciting a campaign contribution, whether it’s cash or an in-kind donation of
anything of value from a foreign government, is illegal. That’s why Wallace is saying, you don’t think
dirt on your political opponent is anything of value? I mean, it’s preposterous to say it doesn’t
have value, of course it does. In fact, it’s gonna cost the Ukraine a lot
of money if they were to go through an investigation, go through a prosecution, get that information
to Donald Trump. It is inarguable that it is of value, it is
inarguable Donald Trump solicited it, it is inarguable that the Ukraine is a foreign government. So that is why Chris Wallace, still a journalist,
a very conservative one, but a journalist on Fox News, is going, I read the law. I’m a sentient human being, It’s obviously
illegal, is his implication here.>>Well, there are propagandists at Fox, so
I don’t expect them to let go of this. But Cenk’s making an important point, which
is, slowly they are letting go of it. Even guys who have been leading the propaganda
parade are beginning to let go of this. And in some sense, you look to Fox News as
sort of the bell weather for the Trump presidency. And as they begin to let go you think, politically,
he might be taking on some water. And if he takes on enough water, more people
will turn on him. And I’m talking about Republican legislators
will turn on him as well.>>Yeah, 20 delirious Tweets in 14 hours. You can tell how much trouble Trump is in
by the ferocity and velocity of his Tweets. So the more trouble he’s in, and this has
happened a couple time before, when things got really bad. And before, the Democrats let them off the
hook each time, right? But as things get bad and Trump realizes he’s
like, Fox News, help me! Right, and so that’s exactly what’s happening
here. It’s funny that you used that analogy, Mark,
yesterday I started the show by saying the ship’s head is in the water, and it’s starting
to rise. And as Anna pointed out, at some point, it’s
gonna break off before it all goes in the water.>>Yeah, and see, I mean, you pointed out
the nature of what it would take for it to be a crime. One of the other evasions, they’ve a variety
different evasions, is just a concern about corruption. Because Donald Trump genuinely cares about
corruption in Ukraine. He only brings up two instances of it and
his view, one is the Democratic nominee in 2016 they ran against. The other at the time was the front-runner
in this presidential election. Come on, he’s not even trying to hide it. He’s not smart enough to pretend. Look up a name, look up a name of a Ukrainian
who was corrupt. And name that person to pretend that it has
anything to do other than your own personal political interests. But anyway, on the Fox stuff. There are apparently plans in place in case
this does turn against him, as Sean Hannity implied that could, potentially. According to four sources, the CEO Fox Corp
Lachlan Murdoch is already thinking about how to position the network for a post-Trump
future. A person close to Lachlan told me that Fox
News has been the highest-rated cable network for 17 years, and the success has never depended
on any one administration. And what’s really interesting about this,
and also sad, and I love that this is in the story. I totally wouldn’t have expected this person
to pop up once again. Among the powerful voices advising Lachlan
that Fox should decisively break with the president is former House speaker Paul Ryan,
who joined the Fox board in March. Quote, Paul is embarrassed about Trump and
now he has the power to do something about it.>>Yeah, unlike when he was actually in office.>>Unlike when he was-
>>That’s the saddest thing ever.>>No, but that really is very telling of
our current political environment. That the Speaker of the House for the Republican
Party thought there was nothing he could do about the Republican president. Even though the Speaker of the House is arguably
the second most political office of the country. But if you’re on the board of Fox News, well
then you might be able to do something about the president, right? But guys, yes the pictures are very funny.>>That’s from his 70s sitcom.>>But this goes to two things that I’ve been
telling you from day one. Why was I positive Donald Trump wouldn’t make
it to the end of his presidency? One is, too stupid to cover things up, right? And what did John tell you earlier? Jesus Christ, do one minute of homework! Say to a staffer, name me one corrupt guy
in Ukraine, so I could make it seem like I actually care about corruption, right? You know what? Give me an instance of corruption anywhere
else in the world I can talk about so I can say, my God, what’s happening in Malaysia? And then Pertrezakov in Ukraine, I mean, I’m
really worried about it! But hey, it turns out we got our own problems,
I mean, look at Biden, right?>>Yeah.>>But instead he’s like, hey, I want stuff
on Biden and his son! And the CrowdStrike thing that Hillary did! That’s why I care about corruption in Ukraine. God, he was so stupid. You’re the dumbest man alive. And the reporters keep trying to figure out,
what’s his strategy? There’s no strategy!>>Come on, man, there’s no strategy, look
at the guy!>>You fool, you’ve walked right into his
trap.>>Yeah, no, by the way, Tucker Carlson said
my favorite line today. I’m glad you reminded me off that. He wrote an op-ed on his own website and he
said, the Democrats might really be destroying themselves by trying to impeach Trump. Tucker, are you concerned about the Democrats? That’s my favorite thing in the world, the
faux concern, poor Democrats! I mean look, I don’t mind you impeaching Trump,
but I just feel really bad that you guys are destroying yourselves.>>Yeah, I’m trying to look out for you guys.>>I always turn to Tucker Carlson and Meghan
McCain for progressive political strategy cuz they’re always so concerned about us. By the way, me joking that this is some sort
of trap that we’ve walked into is not to say that it won’t blow up in the Democrats faces. But if it does, it will not be because of
the political machinations of Donald Trump. It’ll be the incompetence of Democratic leaders.>>It could be.>>As it always is.>>That’s so true, it could very easily blow
up. But you’re right, there is nothing premeditated
about all of this, Trump just, he can’t get out of his own way. But you’re right, the Democrats still have
have work to do, right?>>Yeah, and by the way, unlike the liars
at Fox News, or by the way, the remaining liars, cuz some of them it turns out are actually
honest but conservative. Which there’s nothing wrong with. Like I’ll say hey, if you support Donald Trump
in the impeachment, Susan Collins and at least five Republican senators will definitely lose
their elections. But I don’t do it like faux concern like Susan
Collins, I’m so worried about you, you might lose your election. No, I want you to lose your election! If you support Donald Trump and you vote with
him, I’m going to be ecstatic when you lose. So see that’s the difference between someone
who’s honest and a liar, okay, anyway. So the second thing that why Donald Trump
wouldn’t be able to get away with it is that I’ve been telling you about is, he burns too
many bridges, not on the other side and his own side. So he slapped Paul Ryan around when Paul Ryan
was Speaker of the House, cuz Paul Ryan didn’t want Trump to win the primary in the first
place. And then when the Access Hollywood tapes came
out, Paul Ryan said that they were terrible, etc. And Trump never forgave him for that. And while Bannon was in the White House, he
would have Breitbart write one article after another about how Paul Ryan shouldn’t be Speaker
of the House. He was terrible and incompetent and a loser. I mean, it was clear Trumpian language in
the article right? Paul Ryan saw that and stored that away cuz
he’s weak, right? And he’s a sad little boy like Lindsey Graham
and Mitch McConnell. But now that Trump can’t touch him anymore
and he’s on the Fox board, and he’s like, you should get Trump, right? But there’s a lot of Republicans like that. Jeff Flake, he’s a former Republican senator,
he just retired, right? He says, I was just in the Senate. There’s 35 Republicans that would vote against
him in impeachment if it was a secret vote. He’s incinerated bridges on his own side,
and eventually that catches up with you. Speaking of burnt bridges, Gabe Sherman’s
absolutely right, Fox News is his last bulwark. And actually, Jake Tapper talked about it
today. He said Nixon didn’t have Fox News and didn’t
have trolls online. If he did, he might have survived. So Nixon, who just committed crimes, everybody
admitted they were crimes and he was out. Trump commits crimes, Fox News goes, no, it’s
not. It’s not a crime, it’s roses. What? Right, plus, squirrel! And then the trolls attack online, and then
the media feels like, I guess we gotta go 50/50 whether it’s crimes or not crimes. And by the way, the media is done a pretty
good job, but they’re still having debates over things that are not debatable. And so sorry about that. But now I go back to Chris Wallace. He said, for all the efforts of a lot of people
defending the president to defend this as nothing, this isn’t nothing, this is something. And he goes on to say that it is very deeply
troubling. So if this continues, my God, if he loses
Hannity, it’s over, he’ll resign.>>He won’t lose Hannity.>>But he won’t lose him, he won’t lose him
publicly. I’d seem so not imaginable.>>Yeah. But Hannity will wait until the last White
House light is off before he lets go of Trump.>>Yeah, in terms of who’s going to be last
two. I think it’ll be interesting to see if Fox
is having some sort of internal debate about should we stick with him? And hope that, especially with us, that he
can just get through it? Or should we position ourselves for when he’s
gone, sort of preemptively sort of move away, distance ourselves? It’ll be interesting to see who gets fired
first, either Paul Ryan from the board or Shep Smith from his show.>>That’s yeah.>>Yeah, and I also wanna say, when I say
that Hannity won’t let go of him, I’m not just being snide there. I think that there are a lot of ways to maintain
your loyalty and sort of leave this issue of right and wrong aside. I mean, even Nixon when he resigned, he just
felt, I don’t wanna burden the nation with this. You look for whatever high ground or ridiculous
high ground there might be. I think that that’s what Sean Hannity will
do all along. He will find some rationale for why he doesn’t
let go of this man, who doesn’t come from political life, he comes from a civilian life. He tried to do things but he couldn’t, he
couldn’t stand up to the witch hunt.>>Yeah, look, I can’t help myself but be
honest here. I actually think Fox News should not abandon
Donald Trump. So I would love it if they do, and it would
help Trump to go under, it would help prove I’m pretty sure. But a billion times more important is it would
get this madman out of office and a guy who committed crimes who would restore rule of
law, etc. But if you’re asking my honest opinion on
where their viewers are, their viewers don’t mind criminality at all.>>Yeah
>>They don’t mind immorality at all. But if you betray the mob boss, they’ll probably
mind that. So look, if you’re anyone who is overestimating
the morality of the Fox News audience, you’ve made a terrible mistake. So that’s where I think it comes down to. But I think that the Murdochs, the younger
generation, Lachman Murdoch, are embarrassed of Fox News, and it cost them business interests
throughout the world. They couldn’t do a merger in the UK, cuz they’re
like, you guys are monsters. I mean, look at the nonsense, you say you
do news. But look at Fox News, they don’t do news at
all. And outside of America, where we’re not constantly
bombarded by propaganda of the right wing. In other places in the world since they are
not exposed to that insanity of the false equivalency of lies and truth, they realize
no, Fox News is nothing but lies. So they can’t get things approved in other
countries. They’re like, you guys are the ones that spread
all the lies in America. And so it might not be right for Fox News,
but it might be right overall for the Fox Corporation to go against Trump.>>This is a key point, and I’m so glad you’ve
made it. Because I don’t think that in the Vanity Fair
piece, or in any of these accounts going on at Fox News, you can see a conscience, necessarily,
on Lachlan Murdoch. But what Cenk is talking about is very important. They have other business interests internationally
that are being affected by this. And so when you start affecting their bottom
line, that’s different, and that necessitates potential changes.>>Yeah, and one last marker for you guys
that I think you’ll enjoy. If you start to hear conservative pundits,
especially on Fox News, but anywhere. And conservative legislators start to talk
about how great Mike Pence is, tick tick tick tick, tick tick tick tick. That means there’s only two weeks left, okay,
maybe less. But that means they’re starting to go, well,
I mean Pence is not so bad, Pence is not so bad. We could be all right with Pence.>>In fact, Sean Hannity is probably going
through that mentally right now. He might not say it on air yet, but he’s thinking,
well, I mean, Pence is an evangelical and Fundamentalist Christian. I’d say arguably more right wing than Donald
Trump. Pence not so bad, Pence not so bad. You start to hear it on air, and Trump is
gone. That means they’ve already made the calculations,
they’ve already gotten to the place in their head where they’re okay with Pence, bye bye