Fox News is a network that needs no introduction, but just in case you’re new to this planet, here’s a quick primer: One of the worst things to come out of the 20th century, Fox is probably at least partially to blame for the downfall of democracy and definitely to blame for many of the horrible viewpoints a lot of Americans have adopted. On any given day, its hosts are parroting Russian propaganda, claiming a violent insurrection wasn’t an insurrection, attacking school-shooting survivors, undermining vaccination efforts, demonizing immigrants, and trafficking in outright racism. We could say more, but you get the idea: Fox News is truly terrible, and a stain on humanity.
So when fellow stain on humanity Tom Cotton appeared on the network on Wednesday to talk about his opposition to Ketanji Brown Jackson joining the Supreme Court, he probably thought the gang would unreservedly agree with his perspective, and maybe even throw something in about the country being lucky to have a guy like him in Washington. But apparently his most recent attack on Jackson—wherein he suggested she would have defended the Nazis on trial for crimes against humanity at Nuremberg—even gave Fox News some pause. Yes, Fox!
“You made some news yesterday with a comment that you made about Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson that I wanted to ask you about, regarding her defense when she was a federal public defender of Guantanamo Bay inmates,” anchor John Roberts said. “Again, she was in the federal public defenders office at that point, she says she didn’t get to pick and choose her clients—this really is a matter of due process—and I’m wondering why make that link between Judge Jackson and the Nazis and the Nuremberg trial?”
To this, Cotton noted that Jackson also defended one of the detainees in private practice. Which he apparently thought was a shrewd point that was going to get Roberts to say something along the lines of “Oh, okay, I didn’t realize that, yeah, it’s definitely reasonable to say she’d side with the perpetrators of the Holocaust then. Thank you for bringing that to our attention, Tom.”
Instead, Roberts again basically asked the senator what his problem was. “Right. So you don’t think it was a bridge too far to make the link with Nuremberg and Nazis?” Roberts asked.
Obviously, Roberts’s line of questioning wasn’t wildly forceful or in proportion to Cotton‘s absurd claims about Jackson (and it‘s entirely possible, nay, probable that Tucker Carlson will open his show tonight by praising the Nazi linkage). Nevertheless the pushback probably still surprised the senator from Arkansas, whom plenty of others have more full-throatedly called out. “To use a Nazi analogy as some sort of twisted way to attack Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is reprehensible,” the Anti-Defamation League said in a statement. “We’ve said it a thousand times and we’ll say it again: Stop trivializing the Holocaust for political gain.” On Twitter, California Democrat representative Eric Swalwell noted that Cotton basically suggested that “criminal defendants should not have legal representation” and that the senator’s “preferred system of justice is…the type of justice meted out by dictators.”
And in an appearance on Morning Joe on Wednesday, Democratic National Committee chair Jaime Harrison called Cotton a “little maggot-infested man” and said, “in a Senate where there is Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham, Tom Cotton is the lowest of the low.” He added that Cotton is basically everything that is wrong with the Republican Party, “a party built on fraud, fear, and fascism.”
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