Like most of her colleagues on Fox News, Laura Ingraham seems to have a knack for getting a lot of things wrong in 280 characters or less. But even by those admittedly low standards, Ingraham may have outdone herself on Friday afternoon. While echoing Donald Trump’s efforts to endorse the armies of “patriots” who want to “liberate” their states from social distancing measures enacted to fight coronavirus, Ingraham hinted that the governors who enacted those orders are no different from Middle East terrorists and dictators.
In case you missed it, on Friday Trump used his “executive time” to tweet out his support for the protesters around the country who are demanding that governors rescind the numerous measures that have been enacted to “flatten the curve” and slow down the spread of coronavirus. These protesters have irately demanded almost to a (wo)man, that their states be reopened at once. Never mind that medical opinion is almost unanimous that reopening too soon and too fast could risk overloading a health care system that is just now catching its breath.
But such things don’t seem to matter to Trump. He saw fit to throw 280-character grenades at three Democratic governors who have imposed stay-at-home orders–Tim Walz of Minnesota, Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, and Ralph Northam of Virginia.
Trump’s irate demand that Michigan be “liberated” was particularly ill-timed, given that just 24 hours earlier, hospital workers in Lansing found it difficult to get to work due to the zeal of MAGA-hat wearers who tried to bring Lansing to a halt. Oh, that’s right–all that matters to Trump is opening up the economy.
Apparently such considerations weren’t too high on Ingraham’s priority list either. When Ingraham saw Trump’s tirades roll across her phone, she couldn’t resist getting in on the act. In the process, she managed to say a lot about her sense of proportion and history. Or rather, lack thereof.
Really, Laura? You mean to tell us that Northam, Walz, and California’s Gavin Newsom are no different from the Taliban thugs who oppressed the people of Afghanistan and gave aid and comfort to al-Qaeda? Or from Saddam Hussein and Bashar al-Assad, who terrorized their people while lining their pockets? That seems to be exactly what you’re saying here, unless we’re very wrong.
Apparently Ingraham doesn’t know that had these protesters been in Taliban-era Afghanistan, or in Hussein’s Iraq, or in Syria today, they would have likely been thrown in prison for speaking out against these stay-at-home measures. It may surprise Ingraham to know that no one is saying that you can’t speak out against these stay-at-home measures. Where the line must be drawn, however, is when protesters either show little regard for social distancing or impede the operation of hospitals.
Trump has publicly called out Fox News for not being supportive enough of him in its coverage. One has to wonder–was Ingraham trying to help Fox get back in Trump’s good graces?
It turns out that Ingraham was pouring gasoline on a fire started by the fair and balanced network. Matt Gertz of Media Matters noticed that Trump issued his calls to arms soon after Fox News profiled protests in Virginia, Minnesota, and Michigan a day earlier.
For much of March and April, Fox News was taking a lot of fire after Ingraham and several other high-profile personalities publicly downplayed just how bad coronavirus was. Indeed, there were some fears among Fox News insiders that the network could be sued for its coverage. Suffice to say that if there was a moment of clarity at 1211 Avenue of the Americas, that moment has long since passed.
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