How long will it take for Fox News to admit that Leland Vittert is a loud-mouthed, snickering, sniveling know-it-all who embodies all the worst elements of Fake News inside his well-coiffed head?
It would be a shame to see this once estimable news operation brought to its knees by one preening peacock, but it is hard to take Fox News seriously as long as Vittert remains on the payroll.
Vittert is a weekend morning host on Fox News and has been taking shifts on the holidays the past two weeks. Maybe no Fox executives watch their channel during those off hours, but they should! They would see Vittert regularly interrupting his guests, laughing at them, and suggesting at every turn that he is smarter not just than them but than the 63 million people who voted for Donald Trump.
This morning (Jan.1, 2020) was a typical scenario. After a lengthy report on the status of the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Vittert introduced his guest Morgan Ortagus, a State Department spokeswoman. It started out simply enough as Ortagus said of the attack, “This was not protesters; these were terrorists that are organized, trained and equipped by the Iranian regime.”
This set off Vittert, who wanted to talk about the “Iranian playbook” of repeated attacks on U.S. and Western interests in the region. After running through the list of attacks, Vittert said there was “no strong military response by the United States” and asked “Are the Iranians under the impression right now that they can do whatever they want?”
It was obvious that he was baiting Ortagus with a “When did you stop beating your wife” type of question, but Ortagus tried to answer him seriously. She said that the “maximum economic pressure campaign is working,” and then made the following statement:
“We have told the Iranian regime countless times, ‘Do not confuse President Trump’s strategic patience with weakness.'”
While the camera was on her at the State Department, we heard Vittert snickering in the studio. When the camera came back to him on the split screen, Vittert was smirking and laughing at his guest.
His next question confirmed that Vittert is not just a liberal tool as I have written about on several occasions (here and here and here) but also (and more dangerously) a neocon warmonger who thinks the appropriate response to every provocation is a full-out war.
“When is the hand of diplomacy the iron fist of U.S. air strikes against Iran, targeted attacks on the IRGC [Iranian Revolutionary Guard], actually not making their militias pay a price but actually making them pay a price in a language they understand?”
In other words, when do we start yet another war in the Middle East. Is this guy for real? If he wants to create policy that will lead to World War III, let him run for President and see how popular his ideas are with the American people.
When Ortagus tries to explain to Vittert that economic sanctions are devastating the Iranian economy, he interrupts her and says “I don’t understand.” Those three words should be his epitaph because they truly capture the essence of his being.
Ortagus seizes the opportunity and treats Vittert like a doltish student: “I’ll explain it to you then. Let me clarify it for you. The reason why our policy is working is because the Iranian regime is out of money. Their militias are out of money. We are extending the hand of diplomacy while simultaneously pursuing our maximum economic pressure campaign. … We’re not seeking another war in the Middle East. That’s not what we’re doing here. But we are holding the Iranian regime accountable.”
Vittert interrupts Ortagus again, and this time HER patience is wearing thin.
“You’re going to have to let me finish, Leland, if we’re going to finish this interview, OK?”
She didn’t walk out of the interview, but she probably should have. Indeed, no member of the Trump administration should ever agree to appear on any show hosted by this self-important nitwit.
But Ortagus stood her ground and got in the last word to put Vittert in his place.
“To say that our policy isn’t working is just absent of any facts and any reality. … To say that the choice is a war with Iran or nothing is just a fundamental misunderstanding of how foreign policy actually works.”
Vittert thanked Ortagus “very much” at the end of the interview, but all he got back was dead silence, a raised brow and an icy stare. Translation? You go to hell, Leland Vittert, and take your neocon Never Trumpers with you!
Let’s send a message to a Fox News: Either Leland Vittert goes, or we go. Call Fox News customer service at 1 (888) 369-4762 or use the email form here.
if you need them, here are more examples of Vittert’s left-wing biased approach to “journalism”: