Lest you thought reality couldn't getting any stranger, joining Donald Trump for his famous North Korean summit in Singapore will be Fox's primetime anchor and journalist extraordinaire, Sean Hannity.
Adding to the comedy will be former White House aide and Fox News contributor Dr. Sebastian Gorka, who will help turn the truly bizarre meeting of madmen into one of the most insane media spectacles in history. Reported the Huff Post:
After a brief cancellation of their summit, Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jung Un will meet on June 12.
Hannity, who has been one of the most vocal supporters of Trump and his administration, has consistently lavished praise on the president for planning to meet with the North Korean dictator. Hannity called Trump’s decision “a major policy breakthrough” and a “big win.” Some on Fox News have called for Trump to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for the meeting.
Although it has yet to be confirmed by Hannity, his presence at the summit is clearly being coordinated with the White House so they can control the optics of the event. Just as the North Korean government media will do Kim Jong Un's bidding, so too will Fox News and Sean Hannity do Trump's. They will provide the president with whatever coverage he demands, and given the hype surrounding the event, the strategy will likely center around portraying Trump as a master negotiator and statesman.
Hannity's gushing over Trump's decision to negotiate with North Korea is particularly ridiculous given he attacked President Obama's willingness to talk to the hermit kingdom back in 2008.
"One of the most disturbing displays of Obama's lack of foreign policy expertise came during last year's YouTube debate," Hannity said in October of 2008. "The junior senator from Illinois gave what many called a naive answer for a question from the audience about whether he would meet with the leaders of Syria, Venezuela, Cuba or North Korea without preconditions."
Fast forward to 2018, and Trump's decision to talk to Kim Jong Un is apparently, "A huge foreign policy win for President Trump,"
"Little Rocket Man blinks," said Hannity, echoing his boss's nickname for the North Korean leader. "Now, the president’s tough rhetoric, his bold action, his severe sanctions, they appear to be working tonight. President Trump is accepting an invitation to meet with the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un by May, and Pyongyang is agreeing to stop all nuclear and missile tests while these talks are underway. And the sanctions? They will continue."
Trump Always Makes Things Worse For Trump
Hypocrisy asides, the problem with this continuous trumpet blowing for the president is the blowback he'll receive after the summit inevitably fails. As Bob Cesca noted, Trump botched the first attempt at the summit due to the "heightened stakes of the summit to the end-game of denuclearization." Given Trump always makes things worse for Trump, the possibility of a happy ending was remote from the get go:
There were more than a few observers on both sides of aisle who thought Trump and Kim would finally deliver peace to the world and a nuclear-free Korean peninsula. So, they preached hope. Clearly, these cup-half-full voices forgot which despots they were dealing with here. I hate to be that guy, but we tried to tell you -- the warning signs were crystal clear.
For one, Trump always makes things worse for Trump. Based on that rule, I thought at the time, Trump would absolutely screw the pooch (safe home, Tom Wolfe) and ruin the whole thing. Either that or Kim and his benefactor, President Xi of China, were just playing Trump like the easily manipulated sucker/doofus he is.
Turns out, both observations were accurate. Shocker.
Of course Trump stupidly heightened the stakes of the summit to the end-game of denuclearization, as if Kim had already pledged such a thing. Trump also prematurely defined the mere possibility of a meeting as a success in and of itself, not realizing that previous presidents could've met with Kim but refused because of a long list of reasons beginning and ending with exactly the quicksand pit Trump has stupidly fallen into. Trump's fellow Republicans, both on the Hill and in the conservative entertainment complex, didn't help either, nattering on and on about Nobel Prizes. Taken as a whole, Trump spiked the nuclear football on the 20 yard line.
The hype surrounding Trump's new North Korea summit is essentially setting the president up for even greater failure, a fact that everyone other than Trump and his propaganda team at Fox can see. As Heather Timmons reported in Quartz, Trump didn't bother to prepare for the first summit, preferring instead to "wing it". His negotiating team failed to do even preliminary preparation for the summit, and they did not know "what each side meant by denuclearization, the time frame for denuclearization, and how soon North Korea would be rewarded."
There are no indications that preparations are any better this time around, and with Sean Hannity's insistence that this will be the greatest diplomatic coup in US history, we can be sure that everyone involved is going to look pretty darned stupid when it inevitably falls apart.
Trump and Fox will do their best to present the summit as a huge victory. They will take photos, circulate videos of handshakes, and insist that everything went to plan. But it must be remembered that the aim of the summit is "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization" of the North Korean state -- none of which is going to happen, no matter how adamantly Sean Hannity claims it will.