From the September 19 edition of TBS’ Full Frontal with Samantha Bee:
SAMANTHA BEE (HOST): Fortunately for [Roger] Ailes, the job of [Donald] Trump's debate coach isn't that hard. He doesn't need to make Trump sound smart because he's spent the last 20 years making voters dislike smart people. In a way, the Donald Trump campaign is the dark harbor Roger Ailes has been sailing toward his entire career. Trump's murky blend of politics and entertainment plus a healthy dash of racist fearmongering are nothing but the cask aged distillation of a poison Roger Ailes started brewing years ago. As soon as Barack Obama began emerging as a viable candidate for president, Ailes' network began the important work of delegitimizing him, which often meant up-drafting fringe conspiracy theories into the mainstream.
STEVE DOOCY: There is some information in Insight magazine that Barack Obama was raised a Muslim and went to a madrasa.
GRETCHEN CARLSON: He attended a Muslim school, a madrasa.
BRIAN KILMEADE: One of the rumors is that he got sworn in on a Koran. A father born in Kenya, who was a Muslim.
DOOCY: Gave him the middle name of “Hussein.”
KILMEADE: He grew up in a madrasa.
ALISYN CAMEROTA: Right.
DOOCY: Financed by Saudis. They teach this Wahhabism, which pretty much hates us.
BEE: Well I heard Obama is 40 feet tall and shoots red-hot Islam out of his eyes. Why isn't the lamestream media talking about that? On his propaganda machine disguised as a news network, Ailes exploited the fact that if a fringey falsehood is repeated often enough by people with good teeth and neutral accents, it's not considered crazy anymore.
BEE: Then in 2011, a failed QVC steak salesman named Donald Trump turned his frequent call-ins to Fox's morning show into a regular segment.
ANNOUNCER: Bold, brash, and never bashful.
DONALD TRUMP: My message is a better message than anybody else.
ANNOUNCER: Monday mornings with Trump on Fox & Friends.
BEE: In his very first week on the show, they even featured a segment called, “What would President Trump do?” Well, yay, now we know.
BEE: How did we get from there to here? Partly because Fox News has made it normal to shit on Muslims. Take this so-called Ground Zero mosque. Fox took Pamela Geller, a no-name, bridge-and-tunnel Islamophobe, and made her a star. Without Fox, a wacko like Pam would have stayed in the underworld of typepad blogs named for Ayn Rand books where she belonged, and the construction of a totally normal Islamic cultural center would have proceeded, along with the usual two juiceries, four banks, and nine Starsbuck with banks inside therm. But then Fox News put Pam on television again and again and again and again.
PAMELA GELLER: Why would you build a 15-story Islamic supremacist mega-mosque looking down on the graveyard of Ground Zero? Why there?
This is the second wave of the 9/11 attacks.
This will be an effort to appeal to the imam to move this Islamic supremacist mosque in a building that is Ground Zero. Not 600 feet from Ground Zero, Eric, it is Ground Zero.
ERIC BOLLING: It is Ground Zero, I agree with you 100 percent, Pam Geller.
BEE: Yeah I agree with you 100 percent on whatever crazy thing you said, just, sorry, my coffee hasn’t kicked in yet. That is a supposedly credible news voice casually affirming that the First Amendment doesn't apply to Muslims. All of a sudden, the Ground Zero mosque, which should of been about as controversial as integrated schools, became a thing Americans could hate without shame.
BEE: Aw, isn’t is relaxing to just stop trying not to be racist? Ailes kept riling up the Republican base with emotional non-stories until the party itself felt it had to pivot and address their perceptually outraged demands.
DAVID FRUM: Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us. And now we're discovering we work for Fox.
BEE: Well feel free to quit anytime, guys. Ailes' relationship with the Republican Party is hard to explain, but I'll try. See, like an alien pod, Roger Ailes attracted the GOP's interest, but oh no, he attached himself to the party's face and injected a lot of horrible stuff into them, and for a little while they felt fine, not realizing that Trump was gestating inside their party, until oh my God, it burst forth, killing the host and running for president. I really don’t want to see the sequel.