In the Fox News universe, a legal investigation that includes President Donald Trump is a sign that lawlessness is running rampant.
It's a message that seemingly has been aimed at one person — Trump himself — and has come from some of the voices that the president has promoted. On Saturday night, Jeanine Pirro suggested that the FBI's entire goal was to reverse the 2016 presidential election — without noting that that's constitutionally impossible.
What would you say if I told you your vote doesn't count? That all the effort into the issues and candidates is a waste of time? That there are people at the citadel of power who believe it is their right to invalidate your choice if they don't agree with it?
Folks, this is not about politics. It's much bigger. I doubt in American presidential election history that there has been as great a crime or as large a stain on our democracy than that committed by a criminal cabal in the FBI and the Department of Justice who think they know better than we who our president should be. . .
This is worse than even I imagined. This week, we saw documents that gave us context — or as I would say in my DA life, motive — for the crimes that I have already described to you in the past. Not that we need motive, since the elements of the crime has already been established. And folks, this was the motherload.
Pirro then revisited the 2016 campaign, visiting the many sins of investigators who didn't prosecute Clinton.
But Pirro — a commentator on the network expressing her opinion — wasn't alone in her opinions. Someone on the Fox News production side wondered, in a chyron, whether or not there's a "coup" coming to America.
There's a bit of a conservative media feedback loop going on, as CNN's Brian Stelter noted, and Stelter repeated the thesis Sunday on his CNN show, "Reliable Sources."
Conservative commentators are using the show to call for Robert Mueller to be fired — and they're using any detail they get from the White House to promote that message. In turn, the president is getting what he needs — reassurance from television pundits that he's being targeted. Via CNN:
"The anti-Mueller rhetoric in conservative media right now is part of a feedback loop," Nicole Hemmer, the author of a book about conservative media, "Messengers of the Right," told CNNMoney.
"Conservative media personalities know Trump hates the investigation and wants it shut down," she said in an email. "They bash the investigation and Mueller, and when Trump sees that happening (say, on 'Fox & Friends') it reinforces his belief that the investigation is illegitimate and that he should do something to end it. The likely consequence is that this increases the odds of Trump attempting to fire Mueller."
Republican lawmakers are following Fox News's lead. On Saturday, Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan told Pirro — who else? — that the Republicans wanted to subpoena FBI agents who held anti-Trump opinions, and were subsequently fired.