Republican strategist Steve Schmidt didn't hold back when it came to the Trump propaganda network known as Fox News.
To Sean Hannity and his panel, the news that an FBI agent assigned to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation had sent anti-Trump text messages was "bigger than Watergate."
"Watergate on steroids, human growth hormone overdoses," Hannity intoned on his show Thursday night.
Hannity has been leading the attacks against Mueller for some time, and his pronouncements have grown increasingly disturbed.
In the words of MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace, "Crazier than my dog after her stroke."
Republican strategist Steve Schmidt went further, putting Fox News on blast in no uncertain terms for its unwavering adherence to toeing the Trump line, no matter how far afield it puts them from anything resembling facts or reality.
"The breathtaking dishonesty of it is beyond my ability to articulate," Schmidt declared.
And he made a troubling, but wholly accurate, assessment of just what the network has become in the Trump era.
"That is what White House-controlled, in the service of the president, misinformation looks like," he continued. "That is indistinct from propaganda in authoritarian countries."
That Fox News panel, the breathtaking dishonesty of it, is beyond my ability to articulate. That is no longer a news organization. That is what American state media looks like. That is what White House-controlled, in the service of the president, misinformation looks like. That is indistinct from propaganda in authoritarian countries. It is aimed directly at weakening essential institutions and misinforming the American people. It is appalling.
The voices at Fox do not only have the attention of much of the nation, and of Trump himself — they also apparently hold sway with Trump's lawyers, who have eagerly adopted the network's fever dream in the push to discredit and dismiss Mueller.
As Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein — who surely know a little more about that era than Hannity and his fellow talking heads — put it recently, Fox is "abetting a cover-up" by aiding the Trump administration in its smear campaign against Mueller and the FBI.
And it's not like anyone among Congressional Republicans will do anything to put a stop to it.
But all the absurd pronouncements Hannity and his cohorts can dream up will not be enough to dissuade Mueller from doing his job. All they serve to do is prove that Fox is a "news" network in name only.