What does it take to get a member of the MSM to praise a Fox News host? Simple: trash Donald Trump. On yesterday's With All Due Respect, co-host John Heilemann declared "I have always like Shep Smith, and I like him more today than I've ever liked him before."
So what had Shep done to enhance Heilemann's fondness for him? On his show on Tuesday, during a dialogue with Wall Street Journal editor John Bussey, Smith tore Donald Trump, and his plan for Muslims, to shreds. Smith called the plan unlawful, unconstitutional, fear-mongering, racist and "crazy." He claimed Trump "lied" about Muslims cheering 9/11, and described the Donald as a "carnival huckster" who "represents the worst, darkest part of all that is America." Reading between the lines, you might suspect Shep doesn't like Trump very much.
Note: Heilemann had muted praise for Megyn Kelly's comments on Trump, but it came with a dose of skepticism. Heilemann accused Kelly of "faux outrage" in criticizing the media's over-coverage of Trump, saying she and Fox News had done the same thing on stories to their liking.
Note Deux: It recent days, it seems that Heilemann has been letting his liberal flag fly more openly. I enjoy WADR, finding that Heilemann and Halperin often offer astute political analysis and conduct interesting interviews. Wish Halperin would stick to his analytical knitting. We don't particularly need to know his innermost thoughts about Shep Smith.
JOHN HEILMANN: If there's one place that Trump's plan for Muslims could be expected to find shelter, it is Fox News. But rising above the lapdog layer of Doocys and Hannitys and the outnumbered crew, two News Corp rogues spoke up. Shep Smith, who took on Trump directly, and Megyn Kelly, who aimed at his media enablers.
SHEP SMITH: Of course this is what Trump wants, he wants us to talk about him no matter what he's saying.
JOHN BUSSEY: Exactly right. So, you may view this as unlawful, and it is. which it is, it's unconstitutional.
SMITH It's crazy to even speak of it.
JOHN BUSSEY: You may consider it fear mongering, you might consider it racist, anti-religious.
SMITH: Because it is: it's all of those things.
. . .
BUSSEY: You might say, why wasn't he criticized for mocking this disabled reporter, fibbing about Arabs on 9/11 cheering the buildings --
SMITH: Fibbing? He lied about it! . . . Not to be led by somebody, not to be dragged down the wormhole by some carnival huckster. Somebody needs to come up and remind him what this nation is and what we're about, how we dream, and the way we were founded and what our Constitution is. He's not representing any of that. He's representing the worst, darkest part of all that is America.
. . .
HEILEMANN: Well, first of all, let me say this. I have always like Shep Smith, and I like him more today than I've ever liked him before. I think he's really speaking his heart.