Fox’s Howard Kurtz and his guest, Republican Cassie Smedile really want their audience to believe that our new wingnut House Speaker MAGA Mike Johnson’s views on abortion, and anything else for that matter, are in line with most Americans.
But, much like Johnson’s wife, who pulled down the website for her counseling business, the hacks on Fox would also prefer to keep Americans in the dark on what this dangerous clown has in store for all of us if he is allowed to get his way.
Here’s the back and forth from this Sunday’s Media Buzz, where the only sane one involved in the discussion, Democrat Ameshia Cross, did her best to check the bull-pucky coming from Smedile, but had to contend with Kurtz piling on as well, and painting poor Johnson as “under assault” from the media because outlets dared to quote the crazy crap that’s come out of his mouth. When Cross tried to point that out, she was talked over.
KURTZ: The media really unloading on Mike Johnson, the new House Speaker, digging into his past and portraying him as an extremist. Back to our panel.
Cassie Smedile, The New York Times says Mike Johnson began can his career as a conservative crusader in taking on an abortion clinic. The Washington Post said he began his career tyke taking on a strip club. I don’t know, which is it? What does this tell you about the coverage?
SMEDILE: Well, you know, it’s interesting because, when you look at the coverage of Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, as a church-going Catholic, they had all these glowing headlines. Joe Biden, the second Catholic president, and Nancy Pelosi the first Catholic Speaker, and yet we call them cafeteria Catholics in my church. They’re not devout.
Yet, Mike Johnson, when he talks about how his faith, how, and how that has led him in his quest to try and have a safer community back home, he gets just riddled with stories every single day as though that’s a bad thing, when I think that’s actually something that Americans are craving right now.
KURTZ: Ameshia Cross, it’s like the papers are digging up everything they can, everything they see as negative that they wouldn’t have if he hadn’t become Speaker or in the blink of an eye. Now he’s got the job, and also if he wasn’t so obscure. I mean, if a Jim Johnson or a Steve Scalise had become Speaker, that person as a national figure has already been vetted. So what do you make of, all this, this excavation project?
CROSS: That the media’s doing its job. To a point you made in the intro, this is a Congress person who most of America didn’t even know before he was announced as Speaker…
KURTZ: And most journalists didn’t know.
CROSS: So I think the digging was going to happen, and rightfully so. He is someone who’s had longstanding record of being very open about his religious beliefs. The bigger issue separation of church and state. He is utilizing his religious beliefs to, in this leadership role, push certain things down the throats of Americans that they’ve shown that they to not want, and I think that he had had a larger platform before, these things definitely would have come out, but it’s the media’s job to investigate. It’s the media’s job to put a spotlight on it, and quite frankly, since he, you know, jumped ship in front of a whole bunch of other people in becoming Speaker, at this point a lot of things are being illuminated that we never would have known about him hadn’t of been Speaker.
KURTZ: Cassie, just a month ago, Johnson said during a prayer call, let’s get this up on the specifics, the only question is, “Is God going to allow our nation to enter a time of judgment for our collective sins? The culture is so dark and depraved that it almost seems irredeemable.” “America is depraved”?
SMEDILE: Well, by the way, these are words that people on the left and the right used to speak freely of, to say “What’s happening in our culture?” “Are we okay with what we’re seeing in our communities?” be it crime or be it unseemly businesses coming in that our kids have to walk by every day. And somehow we’ve gotten away from that being the normal course of conversation.
And I think it’s interesting instead of Mike Johnson getting a “get to know Mike Johnson,” the guy you didn’t even know his name yesterday, we get right into he’s an extremist. He should concern you. His positions should concern you. Despite that in his work as an elected representative, we have not seen that person. We have not seen him be solely committed to those efforts, what he was committed to in the beginning of his law career.
KURTZ: But since he wasn’t a well known figure, I think this kind of digging is inevitable in our media culture. And speaking of that, CNN had a report on a couple of radio interviews done by the new Speaker, some as a recently as a last year.
JOHNSON: We did a lot of discovery on these abortion clinics that they are grew gruesome if places. It is truly an American Holocaust. We have to acknowledge inherently that man is evil and needs to be restrained. That’s, see, that’s the problem with the radical left. They don’t acknowledge a god.
CROSS: That is scary. Part of it sounded like Hobbesian theology to a certain extent, and the majority of the American people, we know where they are. They support abortion rights. They support a woman’s right to choose.
KURTZ: Well, not all of them, obviously.
CROSS: And we’ve seen time and time again Republicans try to restrict abortion rights at the ballot box, and all it does is turn out younger voters, more voters of color and sizably create losses for them.
KURTZ: Yeah, but the country is divided on this. There’s no question about it.
CROSS: In every election, again, Republicans are having a really hard time pushing that down their throats. We just saw a few weeks ago in Virginia even with certain levels of restrictions that don’t include the life of the mother or rape or incest, it still ended up taking a fail in Virginia. I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon, and these are very aggressive views, aggressive views that are out of lockstep with the American people.
KURTZ: Quick response.
SMEDILE: Well, I think you’ve got Mike Johnson, who is a Representative of his district in Louisiana, which is what he was sent to Washington to do, not to be the Speaker, so it’s to be expected that they’re going to start vetting him, but I also think there is a clear double standard in how they just rush to these extreme profiles they did, as opposed to really getting to know what makes him tick,
CROSS: Or taking his own words… (crosstalk)
SMEDILE: But it’s not surprising that this is exactly where the left and their friends who write these profile pieces go on day one, on minute one, instead of saying, let’s give the guy a chance to maybe do something, see what he’s up to.
KURTZ: This debate will obviously continue.
Cross is correct. The ones who are out of step with where most Americans are on abortion are Republicans, and it’s going to continue to cost them elections if they don’t curb their views. And sorry Smedile, but we don’t need to give Johnson “a chance” to know what his views are and what he’ll do while he’s in office. He’s already shown us who he is.