Fox News helped to sell the Iraq War to America 17 years ago.
Hosts, pundits, and other figures affiliated with Fox News and Fox Business are already beating the drums loudly in support of a military conflict with Iran, cheering Donald Trump for ordering the attack that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
For over 24 years, Fox served as a mouthpiece for the conservative movement and the Republican Party and has constantly echoed Trump, who obsessively watches the networks and amplifies their content. Fox was instrumental in advocating for the 2003 Iraq War and the George W. Bush administration's false allegations that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.
In the first few hours after news of the attack on Soleimani broke, the Fox team sprang back into action.
- "I will cheer [the attack] on. I am elated," proclaimed "Fox & Friends" co-host Brian Kilmeade.
- "One thing has to be clear, you don't F with the United States of America," wrote Fox pundit Tomi Lahren. "That shit flies under Obama but not @realDonaldTrump." Later Lahren claimed that Democrats "hate @realDonaldTrump so much they will defend terrorists before they will support our own freakin’ country."
- Ainsley Earhardt, Kilmeade's co-host on "Fox & Friends," said killing Soleimani would somehow prevent her daughter from dying. "If I have a child – I have one daughter – if she's fighting for her country and we just prevented her death, because we know this guy is about to attack my daughter? I'm glad he's dead."
- Fox Business host Stuart Varney suggested that it would be wrong to continue pursuing impeachment proceedings after the attack. "Are we now going to try to impeach and remove from office the commander-in-chief who’s just taken out one of the world’s leading terrorists?" he asked.
- Fox host Pete Hegseth excitedly told Varney in another segment that the attack showed that "we are the top dog." Varney egged him on, saying, "Bring the fire, Hegseth." Hegseth responded: "I'm fired up. Because the president brought the fire."
- Fox hosts Diamond and Silk tweeted, "Obama sent pallets with cash, Trump sent drones with missiles." That claim has been debunked. "While Democrats are mourning the death of a terrorist, we are thankful for the bold and strong actions of President Trump to protect Americans," they added.
- Fox contributor Ari Fleischer, who served as George W. Bush's press secretary during the Iraq War, said it was "entirely possible" that the attack "is going to be a catalyst inside Iran where the people celebrate this killing of Soleimani."
- Karl Rove, who transitioned from his role as Bush's top political adviser to Fox contributor, praised the attack as a "major victory."
- Longtime Republican campaign consultant and pundit Ed Rollins appeared on the network and justified Trump's decision to avoid notifying congressional leaders ahead of the attack. "Congress has given up its opportunity to be briefed in advance over the leaks that have occurred over the last year in the impeachment process that is going on today," Rollins said.
- Appearing on "Fox & Friends," retired Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) was "on the side of Iran" because he described the killing of Soleimani as an "assassination." Tata also praised Trump for making a "bold, decisive move" and said Democrats "support Hamas, or Hezbollah, or Iran."
- David Dietze, a guest on Fox Business, said there was a "silver lining" to the attack because it would persuade the Federal Reserve to not raise interest rates and added that it "puts President Trump in a more positive light," adding, "it shows strength."
While much of Fox is "elated," experts have warned that the attack could prompt retaliatory strikes leading to more loss of life and lead to violence around the world.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.