Fox News departed from its standard mode of wall-to-wall praise and spin in favor of Donald Trump.
After the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey, Fox anchor Chris Wallace admitted the event had been “very damaging” for Trump.
Wallace, who also hosts Fox News Sunday, noted that Comey repeatedly “called the president a liar” and cited that character flaw for why he had begun taking notes of their conversations.
WALLACE: Politically, I thought it was very damaging to the president. As has been pointed out by Shannon, repeatedly, James Comey called the president a liar, said that he lied about that the FBI was in disarray, that he defamed him, defamed the FBI, said that the reason he kept those kinds of notes in the first place is that he thought this was the kind of man who would lie about those kinds of things. It’s not good stuff to have said on national television.
And as been noted before, I feel like his strongest point about Flynn and why it was so improper — what the president said about Flynn and that Oval Office meeting on February 14th — and he said, Why on earth would you kick out the attorney general, the vice president, and the chief of staff if it was going to be something innocent? That that was very strong evidence.
The exchange is notable because Fox has taken its standard conservative zeal into overdrive, offering cover for Trump in a style usually associated with propaganda from closed-off regimes like North Korea.
While other cable news networks have focused on Comey’s testimony, Fox coverage has highlighted tangents to the hearing, like Hillary Clinton’s emails, mostly ignoring the core of what Comey testified to in order to find the arrangement of words they feel reinforces the pro-Trump message their audience wants to hear.
Wallace’s comment was a deviation from the norm, and an acknowledgement of reality that hasn’t surfaced in most of Fox’s coverage over the last two years.
The network broadcasts as if it is located in an alternate reality, with only the occasional glitch allowing the truth to filter through. It isn’t good for ratings, but Fox appears to be sticking to it for the long run.