The sad phenomenon of the massively lowered expectations of basic literacy ushered in by the ascension of Donald Trump to the American presidency was amply demonstrated by the laughably effusive praise heaped upon the president’s address to the United Nations today by Fox News commentators.
In what many considered a sullen and subdued speech at the UN, Trump droned on about how his cherished ideals of nationalism and patriotism — or at least his own bastardized versions of those ideals — would save the world as he defended his decision to unilaterally withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran, a move that has brought instability and a strong possibility of war to the Middle East yet again
The Fox News pundits were falling over themselves to offer hosannas to their dear leader, but rather than using the type of hyperbolic language typically reserved for absolute despots like the president’s man-crush North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, their description of Trump’s speech seemed like faint praise transformed in Orwellian fashion in their minds to be considered adulatory, gushing acclamation.
K.T. McFarland, Trump’s own former Deputy National Security Advisor under Michael Flynn, described Trump’s oratorical style as if she were complimenting a first-grader for not soiling their underpants during the school day.
“His best speech ever,” she trilled. “Look at the body language. He was confident. He was reading slowly. He didn’t repeat himself a bunch of times, which he has always done in the past.”
She may as well have added that he didn’t murder anyone during his speech and refrained from drooling, so low a bar had she set for a president not known for his florid elocution.
“How many times did he talk about himself? I never counted one,” McFarland continued. “He was talking about the country. He was talking about the things he wanted Americans to accomplish.”
With Trump’s egocentricity so inextricably entwined with his very identity, that one accomplishment may have been the one thing that would be worthy of earning a “most improved” gold star in the presidential report card for his United Nations participation.
Fox News host Dana Perino chimed in with her endorsement of McFarland’s assessment.
“It’s very interesting your observation, K.T., he didn’t use the word ‘I,’” she agreed. “I remember being here a few years ago when we counted the ‘I’s, it was very different.”
In fact, despite the Fox News failure to tabulate the true number of presidential self-references, Trump actually used the word “I” more than 20 times during his speech, according to a review of the transcript of the president’s words by Lis Power of Media Matters for America, a progressive media watchdog group.
Fox's takeaway from this speech is Trump isn't as narcissistic as Obama. lmfao
"Your observation that he didn't use the word "I", I remember being here a few years ago when we counted up the i's, that was very different"
(Trump said "I" over 20x according to video transcript) pic.twitter.com/MNDSiZY0WK
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) September 24, 2019
The lengths to which Fox News hosts and commentators will go to in order to present Donald Trump in a positive light are truly extraordinary. It’s a shame that they have to resort to such lowered standards in order to do so.
Next, we can likely expect them to shower the president with congratulations for his astounding ability to walk and chew gum at the same time…that is if he can prove that he can actually do that.
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Original reporting by David Edwards at RawStory.
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.