Krauthammer Slams Media Double Standard on Inauguration Boycotts; ‘Heads Would Explode’

Near the end of Thursday’s Special Report on the Fox News Channel, conservative syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer fired back at USA Today writer Susan Page touting Democratic boycotts of the Trump inauguration as “pretty powerful” by exposing this massive media double standard if the party roles were reversed.

Before Krauthammer and host Bret Baier jumped in, Page argued that this boycott wouldn’t be a big deal if no one said anything because “[i]f 64 Democratic members of Congress didn't show up for the inauguration, we wouldn’t have noticed.”

“It’s that they’ve declared beforehand that it's a boycott that makes it powerful and it's pretty powerful. We've never seen this in modern times, so many people saying I won't attend. I am not honoring you as the new president,” Page added.

<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>

Page didn’t even finish her comments before Baier seemed to call Page out in turning to Krauthammer: “Well, let me ask you this period of 68 Republicans chose not to show up for the inauguration of President Obama, how do you think the press coverage will go down on that score?”

Krauthammer then pounced like few could in critiquing the liberal media:

Their heads would explode. It’d be on the front pages. There’d editorials on the front page denouncing the Republicans for violating the spirit of the comedy that we’re supposed to see on the day of national unity. There’s a great, honored, sacred civic ceremony, extremely unusual — we have done it uninterrupted since the late 1790s and you don't set out for what are really trivial reasons.

He wrapped up by speaking directly to those Democrats using the boycott as a political ploy: “You don't like the guy? It doesn't matter. It's a national event. You ought to show some respect.”

Here’s the relevant portion of the transcript from FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier on January 18:

FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier
January 18, 2017
6:54 p.m. Eastern

BRET BAIER: And meantime, Susan, the 68 now — 68 Democrats boycotting the inauguration. There’s 194 House Democrats, so that’s 34 percent at this point. Do you think there will be a message for them? 

SUSAN PAGE: I don't know. I mean, if he gives a speech like the one he gives on election night, there will be a message to them — reaching out a hand. If he gives this speech he's given on every other occasion, there will not be a hand reached out to them and this — you know, here's the funny thing. If 64 Democratic members of Congress didn't show up for the inauguration, we wouldn’t have noticed. Who could pick them out? It’s that they’ve declared beforehand that it's a boycott that makes it powerful and it's pretty powerful. We've never seen this in modern times, so many people saying I won't attend. I am not honoring you as the new president. 

BAIER: Well, let me ask you this period of 68 Republicans chose not to show up for the inauguration of President Obama, how do you think the press coverage will go down on that score? 

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Their heads would explode. It’d be on the front pages. There’d editorials on the front page denouncing the Republicans for violating the spirit of the comedy that we’re supposed to see on the day of national unity. There’s a great, honored, sacred civic ceremony, extremely unusual — we have done it uninterrupted since the late 1790s and you don't set out for what are really trivial reasons. You don't like the guy? It doesn't matter. It's a national event. You ought to show some respect. 


Please support NewsBusters today! [a 501(c)(3) non-profit production of the Media Research Center]

DONATE

Or, book travel through MRC’s Travel Discounts Program! MRC receives a rebate for each booking when you use our special codes.

BOOK NOW
NBDaily Trump Inauguration Media Bias Debate Double Standards Trump transition Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Fox News Channel Special Report Video Bret Baier Susan Page Charles Krauthammer Donald Trump
Curtis Houck's picture