Neil Cavuto is no hero. The Fox News Channel host has always been a team player, dutifully cheerleading first for George W. Bush and now for Donald Trump.
We've seen Fox News people occasionally criticize Trump and, before him, Bush, but we've never quite seen a non-Shepard-Smith anchor on that network seize upon a central argument against those Republican presidents and repeat it -- favorably, no less -- to their brainwashed viewers.
In this case, Neil Cavuto repeatedly and for more than four whole minutes, walked us through nearly every major Trump lie, from his alleged "landslide" election victory to the details of his affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels and everything in between.
Partial transcript via Mediaite:
“Let me be clear, Mr. President. How can you drain the swamp if you’re the one that keeps muddying the waters? You didn’t know about the $130,000 payment to a porn star till you did. You acknowledged today you were the guy behind the retainer payment that took care of this. You insist that money from the campaign or campaign contributions played no role in this transaction. Of that you’re sure. The thing is, not 24 hours ago, sir, you couldn’t recall any of this,” Cavuto began.
He continued on: “I’m not saying you’re a liar. You’re a president, you’re busy. I’m having a devil of a time figuring out which news is fake…Your own words gave me lots of pause. Like the time you said the Russians didn’t interfere in the 2016 elections until a lot of Republicans had to remind you they did. Came back months later, you said, well, I never said that Russia didn’t meddle in the election when in fact you had a lot.”
My first reaction? Is Keith Olbermann writing for Cavuto these days?
But seriously, folks, he's no hero. However, the courage it must have required to blisteringly call Trump a liar to his face over and over again (Trump was very likely watching because he's Trump) ought to be commended, especially given Trump's penchant for using Twitter to dispatch his flying monkeys -- his upper middle aged army of Red Hats against any and all perceived enemies.
In addition to saying these things to Trump himself, Cavuto opened a fairly large crack in the Fox News bubble. I can only imagine the endless conga line of shrieking, entitled grievance addicts scrambling over each other to hector Cavuto on social media and elsewhere. In fact, I'm shocked Fox News didn't schedule an impromptu vacation for the anchor, which, naturally, is their standard call whenever the talent blows a gasket (or a mistress).
The lies and misrepresentations enumerated in Cavuto's rant are, we can assume, foreign topics to Fox News viewers. Therefore, Cavuto's monologue was crucial if for no other reason than to breech-load some much needed reality into the make-believe Trumpian safe space in which most of the Fox News disciples are camped out. Indeed, much of the current crisis can be traced to the inability for facts to push through the fortified membrane surrounding the aforementioned safe space, leading to a nagging disconnect between the Normals and the Trumpers. Today, though, the conservative entertainment complex is a little wiser for Cavuto's efforts.
Is this the portend of a shift? Is this the coming attractions before Fox News slowly begins to untangle itself from the Trump choke hold? Frankly, I doubt it. First of all, Fox News butters its bread with the pro-Trump whining of its audience, so don't expect Hannity and others to fall in line behind Cavuto and, of course, Shep. Secondly, Trump is inexplicably doing better in polling than at any point since March of 2017, believe it or not. So, now's not the time for Fox News to bail on the president, unfortunately.
That said, we shouldn't take for granted what happened. Whenever one of their own delivers news the rest of us recognize as the truth, it's only ever good for the nation. Rest assured, your perception of what's going on is the accurate one. Most Fox News people aren't seeing the facts you're seeing. But on Thursday, for roughly five minutes, reality made an appearance in flagship network of the conservative entertainment complex. Let's just hope it grew some roots.