Every now and then, someone on Fox News does or says something that demands extra attention. Unfortunately it’s usually something stupid, insulting, dishonest, and/or dangerous. After all, it is America’s most fervently pro-COVID “news” network with a roster of Trump-fluffing propagandists who exist to find fault with Democrats generally and President Biden in particular.
On Friday evening, though, there was a noticeable crack in the wall of wingnuttery that protects Fox’s viewers from rational thought. Chris Wallace, the long time host of Fox News Sunday, appeared on the network’s America Reports and provided some unexpected commentary on the the White House press community. Wallace told his Fox News colleagues that…
“Peter Doocy is the Sam Donaldson of this White House press corps. And since I was working the press corps when Sam Donaldson was there, that’s a very grudging compliment on my part. And Jen Psaki is one of the best press secretaries ever.”
That is about as direct a criticism of Doocy as will ever appear on Fox News. Wallace’s description of his “compliment” as “very grudging” is an acknowledgement that it isn’t really intended to be complimentary at all. And there is ample evidence of Doocy’s blatant bias and shameless incompetence.
However, the part of Wallace’s remarks that will reverberate around the rightosphere is his unqualified praise for Jen Psaki as “one of the best press secretaries ever.” It was, of course, a well deserved tribute to an intelligent, informative professional, who does her job with insight, compassion, and even humor. But it surely won’t go down well with Donald Trump’s cult followers who, along with Trump are already wary of Fox News, which they delusionally regard as part of the radical anti-Trump cabal.
There is, however, more to Wallace’s put down than meets the eye. By singling out Psaki for acclaim, he is giving the back of his hand to Trump’s press office cronies, some of whom are his comrades at Fox News. To begin with, for some reason, former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer retweeted Wallace’s remarks. Spicer, who is now a hosting a program on Newsmax, distinguished himself by lying on his very first day as press secretary. And his lies were to placate Trump’s ego by falsely asserting that his inauguration crowds were the biggest ever (they weren’t even close).
Spicer was followed to the podium by Sarah Sanders, who is now a Republican candidate for governor of Arkansas. Then came Stephanie Grisham, who now says she is “terrified of [Trump] running for president in 2024.” She was succeeded by Kayleigh McEnany, who is now co-hosting Outnumbered on Fox News. And McEnany isn’t the only former GOP press secretary affiliated with Fox. Dana Perino is now a co-host of The Five. And the late Tony Snow preceded Wallace on Fox News Sunday.
So by recognizing Psaki’s excellence, Wallace is simultaneously snubbing her GOP counterparts who have gone on to populate Fox’s schedule and pursue careers in Republican politics and press. For this Wallace will be maligned as a traitor, and a “libtard,” and a leftist plant who should be fired (i.e. “canceled”). But he deserves some respect for having the courage to tell the truth about Psaki, a distinguished public servant, and for doing it on Fox’s air.
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