Two Talking Heads, Two Takes on Post-Election Tantrums

Adding CNN to the lineup of our weekly comparisons of cable news evening talking heads, Don Lemon and Fox News host Laura Ingraham offered viewers very divergent views on why President Donald Trump still hasn’t conceded defeat 10 days after the election — and a week after it was called for Joe Biden.

CNN host Don Lemon devoted much of his program to President Trump’s refusal to concede defeat in the recent election on November 3, and his most recent string of high-level firings.

Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, meanwhile, appeared convinced that the election was in fact fraudulent, alerting viewers to a group of ballots in Pennsylvania that were thrown out because those voters lacked proper identification.

(CN) — CNN host Don Lemon began his broadcast Thursday discussing the rapidly rising number of new Covid-19 infections spreading across the country while calling out President Trump for ignoring the ongoing crisis. Lemon cited six close Trump associates who have since tested positive for the virus after attending an ill-advised and ill-timed election party last week.

Laura Ingraham, host of “The Ingraham Angle” on Fox News, praised Trump for “reshaping the GOP” by attracting women and minority voters to the party. She also chided the “elites,” who presumably vote Democrat, for wanting to restrict Americans’ freedom on account of Covid-19, citing classic Republican nemeses — Bill Gates, Prince Charles, The World Economic Forum, the International Monetary Fund and, as always, technology companies.

Fraud fiasco

Lemon moved on to Trump’s ongoing claims — without evidence — that he was defrauded in the recent election. Trump has become the first American president to sully the country’s electoral process by claiming it was rigged against him, no doubt handing a golden talking point to the very countries called out every few years by State Department officials for rigging their own elections.

“They appear to be motivated in part because the president doesn’t like to lose, and never admits loss. I’m more troubled by the fact that other Republican officials who clearly know better are going along with this — are humoring him in this fashion. It is one more step in delegitimizing not just the incoming Biden administration, but democracy generally,” said former president Barack Obama in a pre-recorded clip.

Lemon acknowledged a few Republican lawmakers who have graciously deemed President-elect Biden worthy of receiving the president’s daily briefing and other vital intelligence reports, despite their reluctance to declare him the winner for fear of retribution from either Trump or his core supporters.

According to Pamela Brown, CNN’s senior White House correspondent, Trump’s children are split on what he should do next. Brown said Trump’s sons Don Jr. and Eric Trump want to go out guns ablazin’ and fight the outcome until the bitter end, while daughter Ivanka, the pragmatic one, wants her father to concede and save face — if at all possible. Brown hinted Ivanka has her eye on the future of the family business, possibly with political aspirations of her own, and knows this debacle looks terrible, while her husband Jared Kushner doesn’t want to see his own dubious accomplishments overshadowed.

Covid conspiracy

Laura Ingraham began her broadcast railing against the various safety measures imposed to stem the growing tide of Covid-19 cases across the country. She seems to believe that recommending people wear masks and close certain high-risk businesses is just a ploy to restrict Americans’ freedom, without acknowledging that one cannot enjoy freedom if one is either dead or saddled with medical debt.

“Your individual rights are always going to take a backseat to promoting the values of global health and harmony. The fact is all the signs point to Joe Biden’s team being fully on board with this cynical and sick subversion of American independence and sovereignty,” Ingraham declared.

Ingraham, to her credit, went through a laundry list of understandable concerns about another lockdown, citing increasing depression and shuttered businesses, among others. She correctly pointed out that while average citizens face the greatest harm in a lockdown, the high-ranking members of various NGOs calling for them are unlikely to be affected.

She was particularly suspicious of calls from some economists to use this as an opportunity to transition more of the world’s economy from fossil fuels to renewable energy, claiming global thought-leaders are conspiring to back an upcoming Biden agenda.

“When Biden said we’re going to work with our allies, what he really means is he’s going to let them have veto power over our trade initiatives, our patent and trademark laws and our energy industry. And that’s just a start — and what better time to do this than with the fear of Covid hanging over our heads,” Ingraham decried.

The purge

Trump has been on a firing spree since his election loss, recently canning Defense Secretary Mark Esper along with a handful of other key staffers and even mulling the ax for CIA director Gina Haspel.

Former National Security Advisor John Bolton, himself a prominent Trump firee, told Lemon he wants to see Republican leaders “recognize reality, to show that they understand that Joe Biden is the president-elect” for the sake of both the United States and the Republican party.

When asked whether there were any “adults left in the room,” Bolton explained: “There were a lot of adults in the administration over the four years that left under better or worse circumstances. I don’t think there is anybody left there now. I think that’s part of the problem.”

He added, “There was no legitimate ground to fire Defense Secretary Mark Esper or the other people who have been let go, and it can have significant damage,” correctly pointing out that the U.S. military doesn’t want to be treated like a political pawn by this, or any, administration.

Hispanic voters

Ingraham took issue with an MSNBC commentator who chalked Democrats’ declining popularity among Hispanic voters during this election to Covid-19 preventing campaign staff from knocking on doors to solicit votes.

Maria Elvira Salazar, congresswoman-elect from Florida, had a different take. She noted that much of the recent rhetoric among Democrats has verged on something resembling socialism, which voters who came from countries such as, say, Cuba or Venezuela, tend to adamantly oppose.

“We Hispanic Americans, we like prosperity. We do not like socialism,” Salazar explained. “The values that are entrenched in the GOP are the same values that we have as a community. God-fearing, law-abiding, family oriented, little government, paying your taxes and leave me alone. That is what we want to live and that is why I was able to win and flip a very difficult seat.”

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