During and after the Jan. 6 insurrection, before Fox News went all-in on greasing the skids for fascism, some of its most celebrated on-air personalities acted as though Donald Trump had been hit with a protoplasmic growth ray and was rampaging from sea to rising sea popping whole Taco Bell Expresses in his mouth like Fiddle Faddle.
Indeed, everyone with eyes knew that Trump had gone Bonkers McGee in the wake of the election he decisively lost—including Fox News personalities Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Brian Kilmeade, who all texted people close to the pr*sident to convince him to give the stand-down order during the Capitol riot. But since those dark days, when our democracy teetered on a knife’s edge, Tucker Carlson has made a career out of convincing people to die of COVID-19 (thereby making Joe Biden look bad, though not quite as bad as those goateed doofuses with intubation tubes down their throats) while assuring them that Jan. 6 had nothing at all to do with salt-of-the-earth Trump supporters. Meanwhile, just Thursday night, Hannity welcomed the disgraced ex-POTUS to his show and Turtle Waxed his barnacled balls to a high shine and finish.
We’re finally seeing even more evidence that Trump’s media enablers thought Trump had gone too far, and that his actions following the election and the failed Bumblefuck Putsch were way beyond the pale.
A letter from the Jan. 6 Select Committee asking Ivanka Trump to testify includes newly revealed text messages from Hannity to former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany that outline a strategy for dealing with their glitching ocher overlord:
In the texts, Hannity recaps just a few points of a broader communications plan for responding to the attack, among other pieces of advice.
“1- No more stolen election talk,” Hannity reportedly texted McEnany, who herself sat down with committee investigators last week after being subpoenaed.
Per the letter, he continued, “2- Yes, impeachment and the 25th amendment are real and many people will quit…”
So Hannity knew Trump’s actions were impeachable, huh? That’s not the impression he’s been giving his viewers.
CNN’s Jake Tapper brought former Mike Pence adviser Olivia Troye on his program on Thursday to discuss these new revelations, and boy, was she ever not impressed. (Troye did some great work in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election that helped expose Trump for the menace he was and is.):
TAPPER: “A very interesting text message exchange between Trump loyalist Sean Hannity and then-White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. It suggests that Hannity texted Kayleigh McEnany on Jan. 7, the day after the insurrection, laying out a five-point approach for talking to then-outgoing President Trump. He started with ‘1) No more stolen election talk, 2) Yes, impeachment and 25th Amendment are real, and many people will quit …’ to which Kayleigh McEnany responded, ‘Love that. Thank you. That is the playbook. I will help reinforce.’ Hannity, according to these messages, also told McEnany that White House staff should try to keep Trump away from certain people. He texted her, quote, ‘Key now. No more crazy people,’ to which McEnany responded, ‘Yes. 100%.’ We should note that Sean Hannity’s show was a major place where these election lies were told—in fact, they’re being sued as a result—and Kayleigh McEnany is one of the biggest election liars that we know. So what’s your reaction when you see this conversation—this private conversation.”
TROYE: “Well, it’s stunning. It’s stunning to see this full-on evidence of these types of conversations that were happening in the lead-up to Jan. 6, but even more so, just the fact that they knew the gravity of the situation—they knew the repercussions of the possibility of what would happen in continuing down this narrative, and then even more egregious is that now they’ve doubled down on it. Right? And the problem is, not only does this narrative still exist out there—the Big Lie lives on. It’s being used by people who are seeking public office this year. It’s become sort of, the Republican Party’s platform is really the Big Lie and you have to support it or you’re going to get kicked out. … You know, I think it’s important to get this evidence out there to the American people so that they can see that in the lead-up in that situation with Donald Trump, people knew. People knew that this type of action was worthy of impeachment. It was worthy of the 25th Amendment. That these are actual discussions happening with people like Sean Hannity.”
Needless to say, these hair-on-fire texts from Trump’s biggest defenders are damning evidence that they knew he was, at best, out of control and, at worst, dangerously unfit for office. And by that, I mean any office. Or office building. Or office supply store, for that matter.
Naif that I am, I sincerely believed in the aftermath of Jan. 6 that conservatives would resurrect their long-buried shame and denounce Trump. But they sort of puttered around the grave for a few minutes, figured, “Nah, this is too hard,” and went right back to shivving the country full time.
Hopefully, Republicans will begin to slink away in something resembling shame as the Jan. 6 committee unveils more evidence, but I wouldn’t count on it. After all, the Eye of Sour-Don watches, and they dare not displease their master.
Or they could try to cobble together the last remaining shards of their dignity and try to be good-faith actors—instead of, well, just actors. But that’s just never going to happen, is it?
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