One normally expects that the liberal commentators that Fox News occasionally invites on its airwaves in an effort to pretend that it is “fair and balanced” are simply there to act as a foil for their right-wing hosts to use as a target for their agenda of GOP-approved talking points.
One progressive pundit on the network, however, managed to score some solid points on-air today when she fought back vociferously after a colleague attempted to compare a joking aside by President Biden during his test drive of an all-electric Ford truck yesterday to his predecessor Donald Trump’s documented contempt for the Fourth Estate.
The exchange occurred when during a panel segment on the network, Fox News host Harris Faulkner tried to paint the media as hypocritical because they did not condemn President Biden for an obviously teasing interaction with a journalist wherein a reporter asked Biden whether he could ask him a question about Israel while he was still at the wheel of the vehicle and Biden responded:
“No, you can’t – not unless you get in front of the car as I step on it,” the president joked, before quickly adding “I’m only teasing.”
Despite the roars of laughter heard in the background during the exchange, Faulkner found a way to criticize the incident with a whopping helping of “what-about-ism.”
“President Biden jokingly threatens to run over a reporter while testing driving a car at the Ford plant in Michigan yesterday… If that had been a Republican president, if that had been anybody else, can you imagine the blowback in the media today?”, the Fox News host said.
The other right-wing participants on the panel quickly piled on, with Fox News contributor Gianno Caldwell comparing the president’s witticism to Trump’s statement back in 2106 that he could “shoot someone on Fifth Avenue” and not “lose one voter.”
“The press called him deplorable for it and he said that he was joking,” Caldwell interjected. “With that same regard, I would imagine that same level of accountability with another sitting president who has made comments about attacking the press before. Of course he said he was joking. Fine.”
Jessica Tarlov, the one representative of the opposition to Fox News’ conservative viewpoints on the panel, while agreeing that Biden’s joke was “not ideal,” nevertheless took umbrage at the comparison to Trump.
I actually think this comparison is completely unfair,” Tarlov said. “For Gianno to say there’s been no accountability — Joe Biden respects the press, he talks about the importance of a free press and the Fourth Estate.
“I thought we were coming in for an honest conversation!” Caldwell replied. “Joe Biden has lied on a number of occasions already so how is there accountability still? I don’t get it.”
This comment really riled up the progressive pundit, who shot back quickly:
“Accountability still?” Tarlov exclaimed at the audacity of Caldwell’s response. “Just let me please get this out. Donald Trump stood up in front of tens of thousands of people at his rallies, he pointed at people who work for CNN, who work for the mainstream media. He called them enemy of the people. He called them fake news. People were beaten up after those rallies. He yucked it up with Vladimir Putin, who actually kills members of the press, who kills people who oppose him.”
The chastened Caldwell could only bleat back his confusion and offense at the comparison of Trump to his Russian patron.
“Wait!” Faulkner insisted. “You’re comparing any president of the United States to Vladimir Putin? I’m confused by that.”
While it may be difficult for Fox News‘ reactionary on-air talent to comprehend the appropriateness of the comparison, the analogy will fully resonate with those who haven’t been subjected to the network’s litany of lies and propaganda that comprise its efficient brainwashing operation for the GOP.
You can watch the video of the contretemps among Fox News on-air personalities in the clip below.
Original reporting by David Edwards at RawStory.
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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.