On Trump's Last Full Day as President, Fox News Felt Compelled to Make the Case He's Done the Job at All

Jack Holmes
·5-min read
Photo credit: Twitter
Photo credit: Twitter

From Esquire

It is fitting that on this, the final full day of Donald J. Trump's tenure as President of the United States, his favorite TV network has felt it necessary to make the case that he's actually done the job day-to-day. It has been scarcely remarked upon, next to all the crimes against the American republic and the deranged lying and the rank corruption, that this guy really has not done much of the actual work of presidenting over the last four years. He is, in addition to everything else, a slacker. For the last 16 days now, the public schedules issued by his White House have read as follows: "President Trump will work from early in the morning until late in the evening. He will make many calls and have many meetings." For a week before that, it read: "During the Holiday season, President Trump will continue to work tirelessly for the American People. His schedule includes many meetings and calls." It's an insult to the concept he is a public servant with some duty to his constituents—a fitting sendoff for the troll president who has devoted far more of his energy to creating conflict than to governing the country.

By all accounts, he does not read his briefing reports. He is almost impossible to brief verbally, too, because it's difficult to hold his attention unless you're talking about him. He doesn't know what's going on, and he doesn't much care. The process of trying to communicate national-security information to him sounds genuinely harrowing. He seemed to process a global pandemic almost exclusively in terms of how it translated to headlines and cable-news chyrons featuring his name. Rather than ask about The Fight to Repeal Obamacare, the press should have asked him, "What is Obamacare?" He was asked what road he planned on taking when he hadn't the faintest idea what was on the map. Having spent the 2016 campaign (and earlier) railing against his predecessor for playing golf, promising he wouldn't have time to play if elected, he's played...all the time. Internal schedules leaked to Axios last year suggested his first meeting of the day over the prior three months had usually taken place at 11 or 11:30 a.m., and that the president had spent 60 percent of his nominal workdays in "Executive Time." He spends hours and hours each day further melting his brain with cable news and, up until he was banned from the platform for inciting an insurrection against the duly elected government of the United States, tweeting inanities in the hopes they'd pop up on screen.

Yes, it is fitting that The Fox News Channel would devote a moment this day to the ridiculous notion that Donald Trump is a hardworking American just like you. And the evidence offered up by Fox & Friend Ainsley Earhardt was even better.

"No one can argue he's not a worker." Correction: I can argue. He is not a worker, and the best evidence is what you just offered up—that "he watches every show." In what possible way does watching The Fashy Benjamin Button Hour Starring Lou Dobbs prove that someone is working hard at their job as...the President of the United States? There is far too much cable-news viewing going on this country in general, but the idea that anyone is better informed after watching Fox opinion hosts blather for hours each day is absurd. When it's the president who's supposedly doing his job by watching, we're all just sliding off the grid of reality. On a more basic level, though, the fact that the president's propaganda network feels it necessary to actively make the case that he works at all is not really a great sign.

But this is the Symbiosis of Stupid the president has enjoyed with Fox over the last four godforsaken years. He watches the dumb trash that Fox & Friends serves up, treats it as gospel, tweets about it, then uses whatever scrambled-egg version sticks in his head to make policy—such as it is—on behalf of the United States of America. Often, this policy is half-baked and powered primarily by resentment, as with "The 1776 Commission" whose paint job over American history the administration made public on Martin Luther King Day. Joe Biden will have his own problems, but surely we're ready for a president who will spend more time each day on the actual job than on watching television. The MyPillow Guy has now sprung fully formed from Fox News commercial blocs to advise the president on declaring martial law. This has been the dumbest time in the history of the world when you consider how much knowledge the human race now has to call upon and how little of it our government has used. Christ almighty, it's a wonder we've made it this far.

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