Eric Boehlert looks at how the Republican Party and especially Fox News have surrendered to Donald Trump and the widely panned softball interview that supposed tough interrogator Megyn Kelly gave him was the best indicator of it. He quotes the New Yorker magazine saying that the interview was “a useless exercise, except, perhaps, for those watching from one group: Republicans looking for a script for how to surrender to Donald Trump.”
He also provides a timeline of the complete capitulation by Fox, starting with Rupert Murdoch reportedly ordering Kelly to attack Trump in the first debate to the final puff piece interview where, despite Trump’s ridiculing of her, she adopted an ingratiating and obsequious tone.
While Kelly huddles with her manager and agent and tries to figure out what went wrong after a long-running media love fest, the larger story that’s come into focus is how Fox News, led by Kelly’s genuflection to Trump, has signaled its institutional surrender to the presumptive GOP nominee. Fox News has been bullied and beaten into submission by a Republican front-runner who had the audacity to pick a fight with Roger Ailes and the mass media mouthpiece of the Republican Party.
Sure, holdouts like Charles Krauthammer, Stephen Hayes and Greg Gutfeld remain staples on the Fox News lineup; holdouts who have dismissed Trump as a conservative joke for months. But their numbers, and certainly their sway, seem to be shrinking as the cable channel clumsily and belatedly maneuvers itself into its traditional campaign role: a cheerleader for, and ferocious defender of, the RNC.
Like much of the Republican Party, as well as large portions of the conservative movement, Fox News is fumbling its way onto the “acceptance” mark as it comes to the final stages of its weird grieving process over the Trump nomination. Eight in 10 Republican voters now want party leaders to rally behind Trump, according to the latest New York Times/CBS poll.
We’re done here folks. Pack up your spectacles because the show is over. All’s that left on stage now are Ailes and Kelly, searching for their pride.
The parade of former critics who have gone over to Trump continues. The latest is one of his harshest critics during the primaries Marco Rubio who is now saying that he will support him and had apologized to him for suggesting that he had a small penis. Actually, no apology was necessary. Rubio could have said that when he suggested that Trump was genitally challenged, he was really complimenting Trump on being rational, intellectual, and authoritative.
It will be interesting to see how the remaining major Republican holdouts, especially Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan, finally find ways to also surrender while trying their best to maintain their dignity. Ryan has already started edging towards capitulation and he and Trump are currently engaged in delicate courtship ritual whose outcome is not in doubt.
Meanwhile Trump has said that will stop calling Cruz ‘Lyin’ Ted’ but Cruz, who during the race, called him a “pathological liar”, “utterly amoral”, “a narcissist at a level I don’t think this country’s ever seen”, and “a serial philanderer” has not yet responded to that small olive branch. I am waiting to see how Cruz pulls it off. Maybe he will say that his god, whom he seems to have regular chats with though god does not seem to help him win, told him to endorse Trump.