Donald Trump’s very first Cabinet pick was controversial right off the bat: Betsy DeVos, who’s been our Secretary of Education since the beginning of the Trump administration, has no experience with public schools, having never even sent her own children to one, and entered the job with a hostile attitude toward public education — which was sort of the point of nominating her.
Republicans have been dead-set on delivering public funding to private schools for decades, despite innumerable studies showing identical or poorer educational outcomes for kids who attend charter schools in every aspect: Testing, socialization, matriculation rates.
But the other problem with Betsy is that she’s just kind of hostile in general. She’s a genuinely awful person from a filthy rich family, her brother is the mercenary Erik Prince, who founded Blackwater, and she openly hates the poor, brown people, and other “undesirables” of society.
So how does a sociopath like Betsy DeVos — who has proceeded to confirm over the last three years every last terrible thing anyone ever thought about her — manage to communicate with the public? We’ve seen her deliver stilted, incomprehensible speeches from a press briefing podium, seen her scoff in the faces of members of Congress and the Senate who have attempted to conduct oversight on her department, and seen her sneer on camera at protesters and even supporters she’s mistaken for protesters.
You get her on Fox News, that’s how.
In an investigation into the Trump administration’s cozy relationship with the cable news network, the Hollywood Reporter uncovered literally thousands of emails between Fox and the departments of Education, Agriculture, and Homeland Security, all coordinating friendly appearances to parrot and catapult Trump administration propaganda.
Desperate to book DeVos, who at one point was perhaps the busiest member of Trump’s Cabinet, one email to DeVos’ office entreating her to appear on host Maria Bartiromo’s show assured the reader that the interview would be what is referred to in the news industry as a “softball” one-on-one:
Ps remember any question she doesn’t feel comfortable answering — she can choose to not answer and pivot the topic — and Maria is seasoned enough to understand and move on. … So no worries on that front. This will be an easy interview and enjoyable.”
Those were the words of a since-gone producer, assuaging the fears of the EdSec’s office that she might actually be made to answer questions or provide some sort of accountability. DeVos appeared on the show less than a week later.
But then, that’s what we’ve come to expect from the entire administration, the entire time Trump has been in office. It’s just sad to see a news network toe the line so fastidiously.
Featured image via screen capture
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