Since reports emerged Thursday that a U.S. drone strike had killed top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, Fox News has been working its way through the geopolitical consequences with a surprisingly respectable degree of nuance. Just kidding! Even for Fox News, it’s been bad—a near-constant stream of overly simplistic pro-Trump crap only occasionally interrupted by the likes of Geraldo Rivera. And when you’re looking to Geraldo for some semblance of reason, you’re already dead.
Let’s not tread lightly here: Fox News was built to cover Soleimani’s assassination, and the people in front of that screen the past day or so are absolutely loving every single minute of it. Especially Fox News contributor Pete Hegseth, who was so entirely jacked up during an appearance on Fox Business—yes, not Fox News, but close enough—that host Stuart Varney couldn’t help but point it out.
“Bring the fire, Hegseth!” Varney responded.
“I’m fired up. Because the president brought the fire!” Hegseth replied.
The post-assassination devotion to the president would be hilarious if not for, you know, the potential death and pain that could come as a result. Thursday evening, “Hannity” guest host Jason Chaffetz (yes, that Jason Chaffetz) informed viewers of a major Fox News scoop: Sean Hannity’s very own anonymous sources were telling him that Soleimani’s death was “a huge intelligence and military victory for the United States.”
“Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade has been approaching the news with such an impressively obvious pro-Trump bias that he has become visibly angry at anyone even remotely questioning God Trump. Fighting with resistance hero Geraldo Rivera, Kilmeade said repeatedly that he would proudly cheer on Soleimani’s death and then claimed without any real evidence that the death had “stopped the next attack.”
Fellow “Fox & Friends” co-host Ainsley Earhardt, also impressively pissed at Rivera, presented this totally useful hypothetical to help him explain why this was a big deal: “I have one daughter. If she is fighting for our country, and we just prevented her death because we know this guy is about to attack my daughter, I’m glad he’s dead.”
But compared to Democratic politicians, Woke Rivera got off lightly. One Fox & Friends guest accused Sen. Chris Murphy of “jumping on the side of Iran” when he wondered aloud on Twitter whether this could set off, oh, say, “a potential massive regional war.” Kilmeade, appearing to be made almost physically sick by the thought of the senator, responded by shaking his head in disgust and muttering “It’s amazing…”
“It’s amazing,” the guest responded, “how, when President Trump makes a bold decisive move like this, the Democrats will support Hamas, or Hezbollah, or Iran.”
During a separate interview, Kilmeade asked Allen West, for some reason, about Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden, who had all questioned Trump’s decision in some form. West accused all three of the U.S. presidential candidates of “siding with Iran” as well. On Fox News, you’re team Team Trump or Team Soleimani. And anyone in the middle is automatically on Team Soleimani. Sorry, those are the rules.
The network even invited Karl Rove and Ari Fleischer, two men with sterling reputations (please don’t Google that), on air to discuss the ramifications of the assassination. “I think it is entirely possible that this is going to be a catalyst inside Iran where the people celebrate this killing of Soleimani,” said Fleischer, apparently unironically.
FoxNews.com did its part too, littering its homepage with incredible headlines. The top story Thursday morning? “Pompeo tells ‘Fox & Friends’ Iran now understands Trump will take ‘decisive action.’” It also included stories like “Bret Baier: Trump made clear he will ‘punch back,’” “Daniel Hoffman: Many rushing to judgment after Soleimani strike,” “’Hair-on-fire’ pundits’ reaction to Soleimani killing illustrates partisan Trump coverage, experts say,” and, of course, “Lindsey Graham’s next move: Destroy Iran’s oil.”
Over at Fox Business, producers flashed shots of booming defense stocks and wrote up a near-perfect chyron: “OIL HITS 8-MONTH HIGH. U.S. AIRSTRIKE KILLS TOP IRANIAN GENERAL. Varney, the Fox Business host, just wanted to ask whether impeachment makes sense now anyway: “Are we now going to try to impeach and remove from office the commander-in-chief who’s just taken out one of the world’s leading terrorists? That’s quite a question, I suggest.”
Are you one of the fools who believe anything bad could happen as a result of the calculated killing of one of the most powerful and dangerous people in Iran? Don’t be an idiot. On Fox News, it was clear Soleimani’s death would lead to peace and love. Sen. Lindsay Graham described the killings as a “preemptive defensive strike, planned to take out the organizer of attacks yet to come.” Rep. Michael Waltz toed the party line too.
“For the critics who are going to say this is warmongering: No, this is peace through strength. This is deterrence,” he said.
Someone should probably tell that to Fox News foreign correspondent Trey Yingst. Speaking from Amman, Jordan, on Thursday, Yingst said something that sounded out of character with so many things heard on Fox News over the previous day.
“Let’s be very clear about something,” Yingst said. “The assassination of arguably the most powerful military leader in Iran is not a deescalating act.”
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