During a recent phone interview on Fox & Friends, usually friendly territory for him, President Donald Trump managed to alienate the hosts of the flagship Fox News show.
Simply put, Trump lashed out at the entire media industry and garnered a wide-eyed response from all three talking heads on the program.
The awkward moment came while Trump was knee-deep in a long, winding defense against the recent bombshell reporting of historic journalist Bob Woodward, to whom Trump admitted that he knew the dangers of the virus back in February and deliberately downplayed the threat.
Trump characterized Woodward's reporting—and the ensuing widespread outrage it provoked—as an illustration of the entire media landscape.
"Much of [the media] is absolutely the enemy of the people. And they see it. And nobody said it like I say it but I say it loud and clear, it's the enemy of the people."
"Whether it's the New York Times, The Washington Post, the networks."
At that point host Steve Doocy stepped in to press the President.
"Well, Mr. President we're part of the press too. Are we the enemy of the people."
Immediately, Trump backpedaled.
He attempted to thread a needle that would insulate the credibility of Fox News within the overall tirade.
"No you're not, no. About 20% isn't. We don't have the enemy of the people all over, fortunately. But we have tremendous disparity, you have tremendous unfairness in the press. "
"You know, I came up with the name a long time ago. It's the fake news media."
The onlookers of Twitter delighted in the awkward moment.
@revrrlewis @brianstelter Hilarious, they were speechless— Ms. Angela2K (@Ms. Angela2K)1600175231.0
@revrrlewis Desperation setting in— mike higgins (@mike higgins)1600173013.0
Many people took the opportunity to slam Doocy and the Fox News network in general.
They claimed that Doocy's minor push back was too little too late.
@revrrlewis Someone needs to tell Doocy, that's the kind of question/answer session that initiates all of tRump's s… https://t.co/MAFXowyxnn— Shack "The_Enemy_Is_Domestic" Daddy (@Shack "The_Enemy_Is_Domestic" Daddy)1600182892.0
@revrrlewis Fox & Friends hosts are cowards for not pushing back on this fascist talk and putting their colleagues… https://t.co/EPoCKFAXXV— Kurt Vonnegut’s Sphincter (@Kurt Vonnegut’s Sphincter)1600178130.0
@revrrlewis Doocey clearly got a memo this morning that they were breaking up with Trump. He's tired of acting the fool. 😆😆— Don Flanagan (@Don Flanagan)1600182857.0
@revrrlewis Fortunately for Doocy he hasn't been a journalist or a member of the media for many, many years.— Chris (@Chris)1600172927.0
And so, while the circumstances around the U.S. have reached a new peak of intensity, the rhetoric sounds similar to the way it has for years.