“This is cowardice masquerading as conscience,” Fox News host and loyal Trump ally Pete Hegseth said Thursday morning on Fox & Friends of the damning op-ed published this week in The New York Times by an unnamed senior administration official.
Those words not only echoed the president’s response but also summed up the general reaction from the Fox & Friends crew to the anonymous op-ed. “The American people didn’t vote for the Deep State. They didn’t vote for this guy,” Hegseth added. “They voted for the bomb-thrower who was going to disrupt things, break up the status quo, fight the establishment. This is more evidence that, at every turn, this is the type of resistance he will face.”
Turning his ire towards the paper that decided to publish the piece, he added, “Patriotic journalism is largely dead. Really, The New York Times doesn’t care about the success of this administration. They want to defeat this president.” With that framing, Hegseth seemed to define patriotism as loyalty to the president rather than loyalty to the country. Of course, the only loyalty actual journalists adhere to is the truth.
Co-host Steve Doocy, who later referred to the anonymous author as the “Trump traitor,” said he believes the op-ed gives Trump supporters a “big ol’ can of gas,” because it proves the president’s point about a “Deep State” trying to “subvert” his every move.
Noting that many in the media “ran with this yesterday” and “were so excited because they don’t like the president,” Ainsley Earhardt asked if “middle America” will care about the content of this op-ed or Bob Woodward’s new book. The consensus on set seemed to be that they won’t — possibly because Fox News is telling them not to.
Later in the show, Newt Gingrich joined to accuse the “liberal media” of “running in circles, totally crazed” over revelations like the ones in the Times op-ed.
This time, co-host Brian Kilmeade pushed back a bit, telling Gingrich, “The thing is, Newt, it’s not really the liberal media unless The New York Times is going to get out of the news business entirely. It’s somebody on the inside.” He added, “So, it’s real.”
“So what?” Gingrich replied, saying there’s always “somebody in the White House who’s unhappy.” Listing off what he views as the president’s many accomplishments, Gingrich asked, “If Trump is so incompetent, how’s all this stuff happening?”
“Because of this person who wrote the op-ed, according to him or her,” Earhardt answered, briefly breaking the Fox & Friends spell.