Many perspectives, 1 simple etiquette

Fox News North Korea Hypocrisy Caught on Tape

Created: 14 June, 2018
Updated: 21 November, 2022
4 min read

The Fox News North Korea hypocrisy video is making its rounds on the Internet this week after Now This dug up footage of Fox News anchors and analysts slamming Barack Obama for expressing his willingness to meet with North Korean leaders, and contrasting it with clips of the heavily partisan cable news network heaping effusive praise on President Trump for doing just that.

The video begins with a clip of one of the Fox & Friends morning show hosts, Steve Doocy, criticizing as "extraordinary" then-President Obama's willingness to meet with leaders of North Korea:

"Would you, as president, meet with the leaders of a country like North Korea? Obama, extraordinarily, said, 'I'd meet with them.'"

In another clip, Mike Huckabee (whose daughter, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, now works for Mr. Trump as White House Press Secretary) waxes indignant:

President Obama likes talking to dictators!

As Huckabee would have his audience believe, Obama doesn't merely talk to dictators as a necessary aspect of international diplomacy and statecraft (which would be bad enough, right!), but he actually likes it! He looks forward to it on his days off!

On the golf course he bellows a heavy sigh that he's not chatting up Robert Mugabi instead! "Hey Bobby, love what you're doing with the mustache!" This is what passes for commentary on partisan cable news networks like Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC.

Next up, Sarah Palin piles on with:

"He [Obama] would meet with some of these madmen without any preconditions."

Not to be outdone, Doocy gets two clips in the montage:

"[Talking as if he is Obama] 'You know, I'm gonna reach out to these crazy people around the world and try to get things done.'"

Followed by a Fox News analyst claiming:

"Obama is bowing and scraping before dictators."

And another asking Karl Rove:

"What is team Obama doing establishing formal contacts with these people?"

That was 2008 - 2016 Fox News under President Obama.

The difference between Fox then and Fox now, with a Republican President in the White House is emphasized to perfect comedic effect as the montage shifts to the recent Fox News North Korea coverage of President Trump's summit with Kim Jong Un in Singapore, playing over-the-top triumphant music (like the Star Wars throne room theme at the end of A New Hope) with a Fox News voiceover:

"A remarkable turnaround in relations between two historic adversaries!"

Then Sean Hannity:

"The commander in chief's leadership is now leading to a major foreign policy breakthrough– President Trump scoring a big win!"

And Laura Ingraham:

"President Trump proves the experts wrong again and scores a stunning diplomatic triumph."

Then one of the other two heads on Fox & Friend's three-headed partisan attack dog says this, echoing and reversing Sarah Palin's grievance against Obama:

"How about this? All he wants is to get them back to the table as a precondition."

Followed by Geraldo Rivera:

"It's breathtaking, it's audacious, it's bold. It will be historic. I'm juiced about it."

Careful Geraldo, you're starting to approach the partisan sycophancy of Chris Matthews, who actually bragged to Keith Olbermann and MSNBC's audience in 2008 that he felt a tingle go up his leg while listening to Obama speak. ("Look what a good Democrat I am, listening to Obama speak actually gives me literal physical pleasure." Partisanship on both sides is absolutely nuts!)

Hannity again:

"Obama would personally negotiate with the leaders of terrorist nations like Iran and North Korea without preconditions."

But now:

"The world will probably be a little bit safer. The media should be giving President Trump credit for that."

You can watch the entire montage here.

Democrats should not gloat over this either. Only consistent Independent voters and third party members can legitimately have a good laugh over this. Democrats spent all eight years of Obama doggedly defending him as he hit the gas pedal on nearly every aspect of the Bush Administration that Democrats found most egregious (like executive power, Wall Street corruption, never-ending military conflicts, and civil liberties violations), and elected Obama to reform in the first place.

The blatant inconsistency in coverage of POTUSes on different sides of the partisan duopoly should be enough for Independent voters to turn off all cable news (not just Fox) forever and stick with independent media online instead. It's okay to have an agenda, but the agenda should be principles and policies, not advancing parties, and conveniently switching positions on principles and policies every four to eight years, depending on who's in office.

What good could possibly come of that?

As I wrote on The Independent Voter Network in March of 2017:

"It seems that willful amnesia is the grease that oils the machine of partisan dysfunction."