New York Times recently published a scathing report on the multiple sexual harassment lawsuits against Bill O’Reilly, spanning over 15 years. One of the first people to come to O’Reilly’s defense was Donald Trump, calling O’Reilly a “good person.” For Paul Krugman of the New York Times, this exemplifies the many problems with President Trump.
The only difference that Krugman sees between Trump’s presidency and any Republican presidency that came before is that Trump is completely incompetent. The many failures that Trump has already seen are staggering. “So Trumpist governance in practice so far is turning out to be just Republican governance with (much) worse management,” he writes. “Does the appalling character of the man on top matter?”
Krugman says that it does, especially since his appeal is based on his buffoonish personality. Trump’s rhetoric gives “outright, unapologetic voice to racism, sexism, contempt for ‘losers’ and so on—feelings that have always been an important source of conservative support, but have long been things you weren’t supposed to talk about openly.”
Krugman ties the issues at Fox News, and the atmosphere Fox creates, to Trump’s message of hate and fear. “One way to think about Fox News in general, and Mr. O’Reilly in particular, is that they provide a safe space for people who want an affirmation that their uglier impulses are, in fact, justified and perfectly O.K.,” he continues. “And one way to think about the Trump White House is that it’s attempting to expand that safe space to include the nation as a whole.”