You know how when you’re walking down the street and come across someone obviously not in good shape, behaving erratically, and babbling so incoherently that you are convinced that they are not in full possession of their mental faculties?
You very well may have slowly backed away after encountering someone like this, particularly if you’re convinced that they pose a danger to you and your family.
That scenario seems to be quite similar to how Fox News is now behaving towards Donald Trump lately.
One sign of the careful edging away from the Republican president that the Rupert Murdoch-owned news channel is apparently delicately trying to execute is the fact that they devoted a full half-hour today to broadcasting former President Barack Obama’s Orlando, Florida speech today in support of his friend and former running mate Joe Biden.
It must have been a humiliating experience for Trump to see his formerly reliable media partner suddenly flirting with the opposition.
He immediately took to Twitter to express his displeasure at the free exposure being given to his opponent’s campaign surrogate by his normally faithful news outlet.
Now @FoxNews is playing Obama’s no crowd, fake speech for Biden, a man he could barely endorse because he couldn’t believe he won. Also, I PREPAID many Millions of Dollars in Taxes.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 27, 2020
Trump’s anger and desperation were palpable in that tweet, especially when he resorts to outright lies about the amount of taxes that he supposedly “PREPAID,” an account unsupported by any of his tax documents recently uncovered by The New York Times and unverifiable without the full release of his IRS returns.
The coverage of the Obama speech wasn’t the only sign that the executives at Fox News are trying to distance themselves from the likely road-kill that is the Trump re-election bid.
Even the network’s on-air reporters now feel free to contradict the president’s message that the nation is turning the corner on the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly since those pesky caseload and death statistics make any confirmation of Trump’s assertions difficult to defend.
Fox News correspondent: Trump says we're rounding the corner on coronavirus "but almost every single data point indicates that the US right now is not rounding the turn" pic.twitter.com/H6aNWvdfH0
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) October 27, 2020
Whether this last-minute pivot to face reality is a new trend that will extend to Fox News’ most ardent supporters of the president — those right-wing opinion-mongers like Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, and Jeanine Pirro — remains to be seen, but survival instincts are likely to kick in once the final outcome of the election becomes known.
Whatever the extent of the network’s distancing itself from Trump, the signs that the unbridled loyalty of Fox News towards the president has been seriously eroded are unmistakable.
Facts and reality are forcing the network to contradict Donald Trump if they want to maintain a shred of credibility.
It’s difficult to defend the president’s misleading propaganda about the extent and nature of the coronavirus pandemic when the president of your network and several of its top election correspondents are under quarantine just a week before Election Day.
It’s a fitting situation for a network that is still one of the primary sources repeating Trump’s pandemic misinformation.
Perhaps today’s intrusion of reality into the narrative marks a turning point, but the only real truing point will come once Trump is removed from office by a landslide Biden victory.
Go out and vote to make that happen.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's 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.