There’s an old saying that goes “even a blind squirrel sometimes finds a nut.” That saying appropriately summed up a shocking segment on Fox News’s #Outnumbered today. The segment was shocking not because it was a platform for the hosts to praise Donald Trump as they usually do. For a change, they actually were highly critical of him and outwardly refused to defend the occupant of the White House. (see video below …)
The subject was Trump’s sudden pardoning of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Last week at a rally in Pheonix, Trump hinted at the pardoning praising the sheriff who was convicted of ignoring court orders to stop racial profiling. Arpaio became famous for two things, being highly racist (in many American’s views) and being one of Trump’s most ardent supporters going back to the “birtherism” days.
At first, it seemed like the Fox girls were going to shamelessly defend Trump as host Sandra Smith opened the segment and featured an interview with former congressman Jason Chaffetz calling Arpaio a “patriot” who is highly popular with many, including himself. The former Utah congressman then went on to make vague “comparisons” to Barack Obama. Everything one would expect in a Fox segment about Trump.
Then the tables turned.
Chris Stirewalt. the panel’s “one lucky guy” began the takedown:
“Who cares what Obama did” he began. Stirewalt contended that what Obama or Bush did, this “was an almost impossible thing to defend.”
Kennedy jumped in:
“I take issue with some of the violations of civil liberties under the Arpaio sheriffhood.” She then described how Trump was doing this as “payback” to one of his loyalists and his base. For a change, Kennedy predicted the move could backfire on Trump.
Then it was Dagen McDowell’s turn:
“He pardoned … the former sheriff before he was even sentenced. Number two, to paraphrase the Wall Street Journal editorial page today — that it sends a message that a law enforcer can ignore court orders and get away with it.”
Harris Faulkner, who apparently discovered she was black over the weekend, took Kennedy’s statement even further:
“You (Kennedy) take exceptions to some of the civil liberties and civil rights, I would imagine, violations — I take exception to all of them. When I read stories about people who sat in 130-degree tents until their shoes melted … I take exception to all of that.” Faulkner then went on to reiterate the possible political price that Trump could pay for this move.
Stirewalt chimed in again and mentioned how beyond everything that was said, Trump not only dumped this story on a Friday night, he did it in the middle of a natural disaster (Hurricane Harvey) to attempt to further bury the move from public scrutiny.
The hosts also spoke about the polarization that has happened in our politics and how we have gotten to where we just shamelessly defend “our side” as we condemn the other for whatever they do or don’t do. Again, great point.
Of course, each host also had to throw a small dig at Barack Obama, even Stirewalt when comparing Trump to Obama and Bush used the word “abused” when referring to Obama’s pardons and “used” when talking about Bush. Alas, Rome was not built in a day — or in this case, a segment on an hour long news program.
But it was nice to see that this pardoning of the racist sheriff is not being defended by many Republicans. Trump is once again sliding in the polls, going into the lower 30s as the summer concludes. That, combined with more and more GOPers (even on Fox) openly criticizing him could spell more trouble for Trump going into the fall.
Check out the full segment below:
Featured image via screen capture from youtube.com