It isn’t often that Fox News broadcasts anything that is remotely critical of Donald Trump. That would be contrary to the mission of the State TV cable network. And it is even less common that the criticism would come from a devout conservative whose credentials reach back to the hallowed administration of Ronald Reagan.
However, that’s precisely what happened on Black Friday morning as former Reagan budget chief, David Stockman, sat down for an interview with confirmed Trump-fluffing Fox Business host, Charles Payne. The interview began innocently enough with Payne acknowledging the recent stock market decline which continued on Friday. But Payne was not prepared for Stockman’s response (video below):
Payne: How far down do we go from here?
Stockman: I have no idea but I know the foundation is not stable. We’ve got a perfect storm of a madman in the White House, who’s pursuing trade wars, border wars, a fiscal policy that is totally out to lunch, and attacking the fed.”
Whereupon, Payne interrupted Stockman and diverted him from a discussion about how badly Trump is managing the economy to some absurd speculations about an imaginary war between the U.S. and China. Clearly, Payne wasn’t going to allow Stockman to educate the willfully ignorant Fox News audience about Trump’s foolish economic agenda. Payne thought it would be better to fear monger about a war that no sane analyst is predicting. And it went downhill from there:
Payne: It’s kinda harsh for you to call President Trump a madman.
Stockman: Oh, absolutely he is.
Payne: Because he’s fighting back against unfair trade, intellectual property theft, a country that’s building man-made militarized islands […] You don’t think that we should be pushing back against China?
Stockman: No. China is not a threat to us whatsoever. If they want to waste their money on sandcastles in the South China Sea, be our guest. […] China’s economy is a house of cards. They’ve got forty trillion of debt. It is the biggest speculative building spree in history. Without our export markets, without 4,000 Walmarts and everything else in America, their economy would collapse. They don’t dare threaten us.
So Payne successfully sidetracked the conversation from Stockman’s initial commentary that Trump is a “madman” who is “out to lunch” with regard to the economy. But only to get walloped by Stockman’s astute insight into the weakness of China’s position in relation to the U.S. Which exposes another of Trump’s painfully misguided assessments of the world order.
For a bona fide acolyte of St. Reagan to rip apart a Trump/Fox News narrative like that, it can only bode ill for Fox’s efforts to keep the Deplorables in line ideologically. They must be having hemorrhages trying to reconcile these notions and decide whether to believe the Reagan guy or the stuttering Fox News host. Now that’s entertainment.