Most of the reality-based world isn’t too enamored with Donald Trump’s plan for a massive military parade through the streets of Washington. Some think it’s a massive waste of taxpayer money, while others are concerned that it looks too much like something a dictator would do.
You would think that if anyone would be on board with Trump’s dream, it would be Fox News. But it turns out a significant element at Fox News isn’t sold on this idea.
Some of the criticism came from expected quarters, like Shepard Smith, one of the few consistent voices of actual journalism on the fair and balanced network. When he went on air at 3 pm on Wednesday, Smith remarked that we haven’t had a military parade since 1991. Then he turned on the sarcasm.
“But President Trump says, ‘It’s time to roll out the tanks! I want a parade!’
Smith went into snark mode again later, when reporter Jennifer Griffin revealed what the Pentagon really wants–and it isn’t a parade. Watch here.
Griffin said that military officials collectively rolled their eyes when they found out about Trump’s demand. Griffin’s sources in the Pentagon told her that they have “more pressing and important issues on their plates” than a parade.
That led Smith to wonder why he couldn’t go to a military base and see the tanks. Griffin seemed to agree; they hold parades there all the time. In case that didn’t satisfy Trump, Smith suggested that someone give Trump “little mini replicas” of tanks and missiles.
But Smith wasn’t the only Fox News personality who thinks this parade is a yuuuuge fail. Earlier on Wednesday, retired Army lieutenant colonel and current Fox News analyst Ralph Peters also panned the parade plan. Watch here.
Peters told host Bill Hemmer that it was more important to give the troops “the tools and the funding they need” rather than give them a parade. He also wondered if Trump understood American military traditions. Peters, a 22-year Army veteran, reminded the audience–and presumably Trump–that our military’s focus is more on “the human element” rather than machines. He also noted that a parade would throw the troops’ training schedules completely out of whack.
Hemmer scoffed at criticisms that the parade would look too much like displays we see in dictatorships like North Korea and Russia, especially since Trump’s model is Bastille Day in France. Peters noted that North Korea and Russia focus on weapons, not people. That, more than anything, was what gave him pause about this parade idea.
“I will tell you two things. One, as a former soldier, I don’t like the image of heavy weapons parading through our streets and the streets of American cities. And two, if I were a buck sergeant or enlisted man and I heard there was going to be a parade, I would just roll my eyes. We would throw the training schedules out the window, and everything is going to stop until the parade is over.”
Chances are a lot of people currently in the service, both officers and men, are thinking the same thing.
At least one host on “Fox & Friends,” one of the most rabidly pro-Trump shows on Fox News, isn’t sold on the idea either. On Wednesday morning, host Brian Killmeade suggested that the whole thing “seems like a waste of money.” Was Trump watching? For the sake of our budget, we can only hope.
When this many people are rolling their eyes at this parade while on the payroll of the network that, on paper, should be cheerleading Trump and slamming its critics as unpatriotic, that’s very telling.
(featured image courtesy David Shane, available under a Creative Commons-BY license)