Here’s it is, folks — your quote of the day:
“Fuck you and all your false patriotism. When Bush took us to war, any criticism was shouted down as treasonous. But a president you don’t like has the country poised on the same precipice (and) no transgression — no matter how immaterial and ridiculous — is too small to cite as evidence that this president isn’t as American as you are.”
That was Jon Stewart last night, pummeling Eric Bolling and finally doing what’s needed to be done for months into years now.
As Bob Cesca has documented so well around here, Fox News’s flexible stance on criticizing the president while troops are in harm’s way has always amounted to the worst and most indefensible kind of hypocrisy. And yet to the best of my knowledge no one with any real authority in the media has ever called them to the carpet on this. No one with the clout of a Jon Stewart — and certainly no one who’s ever appeared on Fox News — has been able to force guys like Hannity and O’Reilly and the rest of the self-righteous bloviators who circled the wagons around the office of “The President of the United States” for eight years to explain their behavior over the last six.
The explanation for why it’s suddenly okay to disregard their past articles of faith and tear down this president for everything from latte salutes, to teleprompters, to his affinity for spicy mustard and gherkins, to mom jeans and tan suits is nothing more than cheap partisan politics. But rarely has there been an example of their own naked hypocrisy that’s so easy to throw back in their faces. Hannity would have nowhere to run if someone forced him to try to explain why he once said it was almost treasonous to attack the president during war-time but now apparently thinks it’s perfectly alright. Watching him attempt to weasel out of his past remarks or jump through semantic hoops to get himself off the hook now would be entertaining as hell. But you’ll never get him in that position.
As for Eric Bolling, who has a history of letting Stewart get under his skin, he’ll probably just say that he wasn’t at Fox News during most of the Bush years and therefore can’t be held accountable for what the rest of the bellicose white guys at the network were saying back then. But Stewart’s smackdown of Fox News’s overall double-standard remains — and it’s going to go unanswered for the simple reason that Fox News has no answer to it, because other than patent dishonesty, there is none.