Fox News' infatuation with J.D. Vance continues, and it makes you really start to wonder why

By Gary Abernathy

The ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ author a favorite nationally, not locally

It’s still baffling why Fox News is so enamored with J.D. Vance, the “Hillbilly Elegy” author and Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Rob Portman. He popped up again during “Fox & Friends” Tuesday morning to discuss the infrastructure bill with co-host Brian Kilmeade.

Vance’s polling numbers among Ohio Republicans are mediocre, and he hardly has any buzz here. He strategically timed his entry into the race so he won’t have to report fundraising numbers for several more weeks, but campaign reports filed last month show a lot of in-state support for his GOP opponents. As a Politico headline accurately stated about Vance, “The Beltway Can’t Stop Talking About Him. The Voters He Needs Barely Know Him.” (On “Fox & Friends” Tuesday, Vance tried hard to spin the consistently negative stories about him as evidence that the “mainstream press” sees him as a threat. It was pretty funny.)

Fox News’ apparent determination to promote him is baffling. It can’t be about political positions — other GOP candidates in the race are just as, or more, conservative than Vance, and have been practicing their conservativism for a lot longer. Others are definitely more pro-Trump and have been in Trump’s corner more consistently. Vance famously ripped Trump at every opportunity in 2016 before doing an about-face as he prepared to hit the campaign trail. He even deleted his Trump-bashing tweets, as though no one would find them. It’s that blatant, pandering opportunism from Vance that makes him a non-starter for me. I would have respected him more if he had stuck to his original attitude toward Trump.

If I was doing communications for Jane Timken, Josh Mandel, Mike Gibbons or Bernie Moreno I’d be burning up the phone to Fox producers asking for equal time — something that’s not legally required, but is certainly justifiable from a mere sense of fairness. Fox might discover that one or all of the other candidates make for interviews at least as interesting as Vance, and probably moreso.

If Fox News keeps promoting Vance when most Ohio Republican voters are supporting other candidates, you have to wonder — why?

‘Sophisticated’ crowd poses less of a covid threat?

I was never among those who were raising alarms or leveling criticism at former President Barack Obama for holding a 60th birthday celebration. I noticed several conservative-leaning commentators and outlets doing just that, especially focusing on the question of whether the huge guest list would pose a danger — or at least demonstrate a serious level of hypocrisy — over social distancing, masking, etc. as it relates to covid-19. Eventually, the guest list for the party was apparently scaled back.

Again, who cares? As someone who has advocated for the ability of adults to make up their own minds about their own health precautions, anyone who chose to attend the Obama celebration was free to make that choice, along with whether to mask up or not.

What did play into the notion that media has an elite and hypocritical take on covid precautions depending on what crowd is gathering or event is happening were comments from a New York Times reporter during a CNN interview in which she dismissed worries about spreading covid by claiming Obama’s guests represented a “sophisticated, vaccinated crowd,” as opposed, apparently, to the hick crowds, vaccinated or unvaccinated, that gather for birthday parties for conservatives.

The only thing that really upset me about the Obama birthday was that it again reminded me that he was the first president of my lifetime younger than me. That’s always a milestone — when the president of the United States is younger than you. That reminder of mortality was somewhat abated by the fact that Obama’s successors, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, are both older than me. The universe is right again. For now.

I hope the former president had a happy birthday and a fun party.

Cuomo felled by personal behavior, not deadly decisions

Andrew Cuomo’s decision Tuesday to resign in 14 days as New York governor brings to mind all the praise heaped on him for months by a fawning media eager to contrast Cuomo’s handling of covid-19 with then-President Donald Trump. There’s a lot of crow being served for a while to some of our biggest media personalities. Will Hollywood rescind Cuomo’s Emmy?

It’s tragic that Cuomo is actually being cut down more by allegations of sexual harassment than for what turned out to be his completely inept and deadly handling of covid. It’s not unreasonable to think the media’s embarrassment over their Cuomo/covid coverage plays a part in focusing more on the allegations of inappropriate behavior with women — certainly worthy of forcing his resignation if proven true — as the excuse to bring him down. In the end, Cuomo was charged, tried and convicted by the media on sexual harrasment, while the covid-nursing home allegations continue to hold second place in media interest. He would probably never have had to resign over the nursing home issue. That’s our world today.

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