Here’s one of the dumbest things Trump has ever said
Let me stipulate at the outset here that I don’t know if there’s any validity to the allegations of sexual harassment made by certain women against Fox News Channel superstar Bill O’Reilly.
President Trump doesn’t know either, but that hasn’t deterred him from shooting his mouth off about the matter.
You may have heard that more than a dozen major advertisers have dropped their sponsorship of O’Reilly’s nightly blabfest on Fox, which is the most popular night-time news show on cable TV. These companies don’t want their brands associated with a guy who has paid $13 million to settle lawsuits brought by five women who have accused O’Reilly of harassing them.
Donald Trump is a good friend of Bill-O and owes him — and Fox News, in general — a great debt of gratitude for boosting his presidential candidacy among the hordes of right-wingers who hang on every word of drivel they hear on FNC.
Predictably enough, given his penchant for sticking his nose into matters that are none of his business, the president said this today in his patented echo-chamber style: “I don’t think Bill did anything wrong. I think he shouldn’t have settled; personally, I think he shouldn’t have settled.”
Trump might be right — but, of course, he can’t possibly know for sure, unless he witnessed the incidents at issue in the lawsuits. And, as president of the United States, he should stay out of the matter. He’s got far more important issues to deal with.
But let’s look at this situation from a cynical perspective: Trump has almost no ground to lose among his fans by defending O’Reilly. Most of the people who might be offended probably are already critics of the president. And most of the people who admire Trump’s attitude about the controversy probably also are inclined to give O’Reilly the benefit of the doubt.
Trump is just sticking up for a hero of the far right. There’s not much short-term downside for him in the matter, especially in light of his already weak approval rating.
But then, it’s also not likely to help improve his status among decent folks.
That’s what makes his remarks especially dumb.