A very big news story dropped Tuesday: The New York Times’ Michael Schmidt, the same man who first reported on Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, broke the news that President Donald Trump had asked former FBI Director James Comey to drop the investigation into his ex-national security adviser, Michael Flynn, according to a memo Comey wrote.
“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Trump told Comey, according to the memo. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”
The alleged ask is particularly troubling given that Flynn is the man at the center of the FBI’s counterintelligence probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Some experts say that, if the memo report is accurate, Trump’s apparent meddling into that investigation constitutes obstruction of justice.
Of course, according to The Daily Show host Trevor Noah, you wouldn’t know this was a big story if you watched Fox News.
“This is by far the biggest Trump scandal—until the next one,” said Noah. “To not acknowledge the gravity of this Comey memo, you’d have to be willfully ignorant. Aggressively ignorant. In fact, you’d have to be Fox News.”
Yes, in lieu of analyzing the Trump scandal, a big, unfolding news story happening in the present day, Fox News chose to focus on the past. There was contributor Karl Rove whining about former President Obama; Maria Bartiromo (who conducted arguably the most softball interview of Donald Trump since Jimmy Fallon) and her guests invoking Obama’s IRS scandal; and Trump’s favorite program, Fox & Friends, saying of Comey, “I would also like to see the notes he has on President Obama.”
“You know, I would just love if one day Barack Obama was like, ‘Uh, I got your notes, uh, right here,’” quipped Noah, before reaching into his jacket pocket and pulling out a middle finger.
Blaming Obama was just one way Fox News took the heat off its lord and savior, Trump. There was also The Five host Greg Gutfeld, who had an especially elaborate explanation for the Comey memo:
“When you say you ‘hope’ for something, it’s not a command. It’s not saying ‘you better do this.’ It’s like, ‘I hope I got a bicycle for Christmas, and I really hope you show up to my birthday party or I really hope you won’t make loud noises when I’m sleeping,’” said Gutfeld. “It seems like it’s not a big deal.”
Several other Fox News talking heads, like the Fox & Friends gang, argued that Comey is not to be trusted, and even suggested that he might be a criminal.
“There were only two people in that room: One of them took notes, the other one is the world’s most famous liar,” said Noah. “Forget about lying about what happens in private conversation—Trump lies about things we can see: the size of his crowds, the margin of his victories, the real color of his skin. There are two things that Donald Trump tries to avoid at all costs: the truth and his son Eric.”
But the wackiest Fox News reaction came courtesy of Jesse Watters, a racist buffoon whose mentor, Bill O’Reilly, was recently kicked off the network after a series of sexual-harassment allegations surfaced against him.
“This is a scandal with no video, with no audio, with no sex, with no money, with no dead bodies. It’s a boring scandal,” offered Watters.
“I think you’re confusing a constitutional crisis with a movie pitch,” shot back Noah. “He sounds like he works in Hollywood: ‘No money, no dead bodies, no sex? Take that shit to PBS! I can’t work with this.’ Clearly, in Jesse Watters’ mind, if he can’t jerk off to it, it’s not news.”
“Last night I realized why Donald Trump loves Fox News so much: They’re basically his Snapchat filter,” the comic continued. “Because whatever the reality is, they’ll always make him look better than he is. And just like a Snap, we’re all hoping he disappears soon.”