In an extraordinary interview on CNN’s Reliable Sources this past weekend, former Fox News Analyst Lt. Col. Ralph Peters told Brian Stelter that former colleagues Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity were essentially "prostitutes" for Donald Trump.
“I am convinced that the president of the United States is in thrall to Vladimir Putin,” Peters told Stelter in a wide ranging interview where the military analyst blasted Trump and his former employer. He also told Stelter that based on his experience working with Russian intelligence agencies that Trump was almost certainly "a traitor" to the United States.
When Stelter asked him whether his strong language was unhelpful and might risk alienating Trump supporters, Peters answered definitively. There were enough people who do that in Washington, he said. "What we need is people who will speak honestly, and say what they believe, and not worry about who it offends."
"I'm just sick and tired of people hemming, hedging and hawing," he went on. "This is a president of the United States who is a danger to the Republic."
Peters left Fox because he felt at the time he could not be part of a “destructive propaganda machine” for Donald Trump that was “assaulting the Constitution, the constitutional order, the rule of law.” In his interview with Stelter, he called the network "amoral" and accused it of being "a closed loop, so people who only listen to Fox have an utterly skewed view of reality.”
"The Republican Party is gone, or at least it is dormant," continued Peters. "The people we see supporting Trump are radical, these couch potato anarchists."
"They are destructive. They want to tear things down. They want vengeance."
Peters reserved the most scathing language for hosts Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, however. After Stelter played footage of how the firing of CIA director John Brennan was covered on MSNBC and Fox News and asked him whether he thought his former colleagues were "proud of their performances," Peters said this:
"The polite word is 'prostitutes' so we'll just leave it at that."
Much will be written about Carlson in Hannity and their role in propagandizing for the president, and it will be studied for years to come. Both Fox News hosts represent two distinctly different styles -- one slavishly lies and repeats Trump's talking points for the masses, while the other intellectualizes ethno-nationalism and subtly normalizes the fascistic ideology underpinning Trump's presidency.
Of the two, Carlson is infinitely more dangerous, as he provides elites a wide ranging selection of argument that help rationalize Trump's presidency. It is extraordinary to watch a man with Carlson's intellectual gifts shill for someone as utterly stupid and vulgar as Donald Trump. Yet Carlson has found himself a well paying little niche where he keeps one foot in the evening cocktail circuit in DC, and the other in the nightmarish swamp that is now the White House.
Hannity, conversely, is merely a goon -- a blind loyalist with no ability to think for himself, but one who goes to battle every day for the cause regardless of how far he must go to humiliate himself.
Peters was, in fact, being generous to Hannity and Carlson. Prostitutes are at least honest about what they do for a living.