It is no secret at this point that President Trump’s favorite TV show is Fox & Friends, the roundtable discussion group which fawns over the President’s every move and gives him the positive media coverage he yearns for so desperately.
While the shameless flattery is one thing, what is truly disturbing about Trump’s love affair with the show is the fact that Trump, intellectually lazy and astoundingly uninterested in forming his own opinions on important issues, seems to be to be taking policy and rhetorical cues from them.
For instance, at 6:30 AM just this morning, Fox & Friends guest James Mitchell, who declared that “The first thing [the British] have to do is stop being politically correct.”
Fifty minutes later, Trump said the same thing in one of his tweets:
We must stop being politically correct and get down to the business of security for our people. If we don't get smart it will only get worse
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2017
This is terrifying for a number of reasons, but perhaps the most concerning of which is the fact that Fox & Friends often invites right-wing extremists onto the show to share their deplorable opinions and make policy suggestions they are not qualified to make.
Those “policy suggestions” occasionally veer into unforgivable territory, like this morning, when chief Brexiteer and right-wing extremist turned FOX contributor Nigel Farage suggested that the United Kingdom should round up 3,000 Muslims and throw them into internment camps.
“This is now the third terrorist incident that has happened in my country in the space of as many months. And the mood that I get now is we want some real action. We don’t just want speeches.
And if there is not action, the calls for internment will grow. We have 3,000 people on sort of a known terrorist list. And we’re watching their actions. But a further 20,000 people who are persons of interests, namely they’re linked by some way to extremist organizations. Unless we see the public getting tough, you will see public calls for those 3,000 to be arrested.”
While Fox & Friends hosts later made sure to clarify that they thought internment was “reprehensible,” the point remains that the President of the United States, far from listening to any of his advisors or the enormous amount of information at his disposal, takes his cues from a conservative talk show.
We cannot rule out the possibility that Trump is now considering internment camps for Muslims because he saw it on television.
A few months ago, Trump saw a FOX guest declare that he should “send in the feds” to control violence in Chicago – and then tweeted the same thing minutes later. This morning, he word-for-word echoes FOX guests in his tweets. While we aren’t saying Trump might suddenly start calling for American Muslims to be put in camps
While we aren’t saying Trump might suddenly start calling for American Muslims to be put in camps because he saw someone say it on television, it has to be acknowledged that the precedent is there and it is definitely within the realm of possibility.
We cannot trust the President of the United States to not overreact to something he saw on television, and that is both a humiliating disgrace to this nation and a clear danger to our national security.