Texas Senator Ted Cruz was heading for front-runner status in the race for the Republican nomination for president back in December, until he referred to Donald Trump's "New York values" in one of the interminable presidential debates, this one hosted by FOX.
Cruz made the point that New Yorkers, which most thinking people understand means residents of New York City, not necessarily the rest of the state, are liberal in their thoughts and actions. Trump parried Cruz's comment not with a defense of his liberal positions on a variety of matters, but by bringing up the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 when the twin towers of the World Trade Center were hit by aircraft that had been hijacked by Muslim extremists and more than 2,000 people died.
Since then it has been rough going for Cruz, not out in the rest of the country, that also lost people and buildings on that day, but with the New York/Washington media cartel, which has spared no effort in painting Cruz as highly disagreeable and inappropriate to be President of the United States. This is remarkable in the sense that until Cruz uttered that phrase – which Cruz has plenty of statements from Trump himself to back him up – the very media that now is savage in its attacks on him, led by the FOX News Channel, had been equally vicious in its attacks on Trump.
Now, however, Trump, who boycotted the last FOX debate for GOP candidates ostensibly because he doesn’t like Megyn Kelly, one of the 'moderators,' (but more likely because he didn't want to lose support that close to caucus voting due to attacks from his rivals,) is solidly a New York/D.C media favorite. Even, or perhaps especially, FOX goes out of its way to paint Cruz in the worst possible light while giving Trump a pass on virtually everything.
We expect this of the Washington Post, New York Times – or any New York newspaper for that matter – and the television networks, not to mention MSNBC and CNN. But FOX claims to be Fair, Balanced and Unafraid. Unfair, definitely Unbalanced, and Job Scared should be its logo. (I should note that the Times endorsed Ohio Governor John Kasich, but frankly, I believe that was just for cover. They can't be serious.)
Take for instance Special Report on Friday night, when anchor Bret Baier did an interview with Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, in which Cruz's objection to government subsidies for ethanol arose. Although Baier briefly hit on the fact that Branstad's son is a highly paid lobbyist for ethanol, he allowed the governor to outright lie when he used the term "refineries" when referring to jobs involving the production of ethanol. Then the governor claimed that ethanol is cheaper than gasoline, and that objections to ethanol come from "Big Oil."
I say lie because Branstad knows that ethanol is not a fuel that is refined. It is moonshine corn liquor that is distilled, the same as any other spirits like bourbon, whiskey, sour mash or vodka, and only becomes ethanol when gasoline is mixed with it. And since the US Congress has mandated that "Big Oil" use no less than 32 billion gallons of ethanol domestically by 2020 – meaning a ready-made before-market outlet just in mixing gas with the moonshine – I don’t see how they can possibly have a problem with a government induced and government mandated and supported market.
In fact, the law requires that the moonshine (corn liquor) have gasoline added to it so the people who distill it won't be able to drink it between the distillery and the pump; not that there is any worry of that happening in a state where the Evangelical Christian vote is all powerful and FOX claims that more than half of the evangelicals are voting for Trump.
Then on FOX News Sunday, host Chris Wallace did an abominable interview with Cruz, repeatedly interrupting him when he was trying to answer Wallace's questions, and baiting him with false employment and job "statistics." Fortunately for journalism, Wallace came out on the short end of that stick.
That was followed by an incredibly fawning interview with Trump in which he was allowed to make several baseless and unchallenged attacks on Cruz. Wallace even let Trump get away with saying he didn't know where his money was going when he donated $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation, even though he has only donated $57,000 to veterans' causes prior to his run for president.
I thought Trump was the ultimate businessman. Yet he gives away a quarter-million dollars without knowing where it is going and for what purpose? Sounds like a classic Washington/Manhattan insider to me. Trump even brought up Cruz's citizenship again without mentioning that he is considering a lawsuit against Cruz! Without a peep from Wallace.
Wallace's one-two interview frankly was one of the most unprofessional I have ever seen despite working four decades in the media and related industries. It reminded me of disgraced CBS News anchor Dan Rather's self-promoting attacks on President Richard Nixon back in the 1970's – before Nixon resigned.
But worse, Wallace's 'panel of experts' which supposedly is comprised of media professionals with superior insight into the issues of the day, included none other than Branstad! And again he was allowed to bash Cruz unchecked – although he has lots of nice things to say about Trump – and again portrayed the ethanol industry as a boon to his state while falsely claiming Cruz is against renewable energy – with no challenge from Wallace or the panel.
Wallace, who also "moderated" the most recent debate in which his lack of professionalism was at its height – "This is a debate sir, and we'll set the rules" – knew that Cruz had answered that criticism by noting that he favors all forms of renewable energy but not government subsidies for any of them. Yet Wallace remained silent on Sunday then and again when Branstad referred to ethanol distilleries as "plants" instead of distilleries.
Which brings me to the question, are Iowa's evangelical Christians, as well as other voters, all that gullible? Are they so uninformed on ethanol that they don't know that half of their state's corn crop goes to making moonshine that then is mixed with gasoline to make a dirty, expensive and ineffective "biofuel" that American drivers are forced to buy to support their "industry?"
Do they not know that Donald Trump and Marco Rubio have been mostly silent on their new-found Christianity until they started running last-minute campaign ads hoping to influence the evangelical vote? Do they not know that many of Trump's positions are diametrically opposite of their professed beliefs?
I guess we'll find out Monday night after the caucus vote comes in.
Oh, and I have been a loyal viewer of FOX News and FOX News Sunday in particular since the late Tony Snow was the host. But after seeing the gross lack of professionalism on view this week in Iowa, building on plenty of previous instances, I will now be getting my news elsewhere. And, while one viewer may not matter, you can bet that if a loyal person like me has had it with FOX, plenty of others have too.
Say goodnight FOX; One America News Network seems like a good place to relocate.