There’s a sense that last week may have been a turning point for Donald Trump’s presidency, that the Trump Train has officially jumped the tracks and run over virtually every one of its passengers along the way. It’s becoming harder and harder to keep a handle on all the bombshell revelations and scandals, much less process their larger significance. The task has left some visible signs of strain—and not just Anderson Cooper, who may have cracked a bit when he cathartically told Jeffrey Lord on Friday night, “If Trump took a dump on his desk, you would defend it.”
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But, as John Oliver showed us last night, the task isn’t just weighing on traditional newsmen. It’s also leaving a mark on the denizens of Fox News, where the attempt to build a genuine pravda network for the new administration is proving hilariously difficult. It’s almost like running state media for an unhinged Dear Leader can descend into outright farce:
This thing is inflating so quickly that it’s tough for Fox News “pundits” to minimize it, but it speaks volumes that people like Tucker Carlson are still trying and failing to do that. Like so much in this administration, it makes you wonder where we’d be if the leader of this slow march towards authoritarianism wasn’t so breathtakingly incompetent. Even this guy still enjoys the support of the vast majority of Republicans, who more and more seem primed to be ruled rather than accept the task of governing themselves. With a pure capitalist form of state media ready and willing to help out, a more disciplined President Strongman who wasn’t a rather large child might have tightened the screws on our democracy in a significant and lasting way.
As it stands, he’s more concerned about getting two scoops while everyone else gets one.