Wasting no time on a hot-button issue, Buck Sexton opened Wednesday’s show by addressing the “earthquake over at Fox News,” the firing/forcing-out of Bill O’Reilly, longtime host of “The O’Reilly Factor.”
“I was an avid Fox News watcher in college, unlike most people my age,” Buck said. “I don’t know the truth of any of the claims against Bill. I will say that you don’t pay 9 million dollars in a settlement case” (as O’Reilly did in 2008) “unless something is up. So there was an issue there.”
Buck took the long view of the success of Fox News, which O’Reilly did much to contribute to, and described the difficulties of being a conservative outlet in a media landscape dominated by left-leaning channels.
“The reason Fox is a juggernaut is because it serves a need. The other channels service different versions of the left-of-center viewpoint,” he said. “The Blaze was doing well, but ran into political hurdles. Cable distributors don’t want the headache of putting you on if you are a conservative channel. They don’t want to deal with the angry emails and boycotts. That’s part of the concern here with this: the Left was able to put this into motion. That doesn’t mean [O’Reilly] didn’t do bad things. But keep in mind the Left put this in motion.”
“It’s a message to conservatives in media,” Buck continued. “The media echo chamber is still dominated by the Left and if they want to come after someone, they can.”
Chaffetz: Also Out?
Buck then invited McKay Coppins, writer for The Atlantic, who covered the sudden decision by GOP congressman and House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz not to seek reelection.
“This came as a pretty big shock to Republicans in Washington and in Utah,” said Coppins. “From what I’ve heard, he must have made this decision very recently. Until 11PM last night, no one in the party knew he was doing this. When I spoke with him, he said he’d serve out his 6-year term as chairman of House Oversight Committee.”
Buck asked after the rumor that Chaffetz would be running for governor of Utah.
“I floated this by a few sources, and they’re skeptical. It seems like a strange decision to forsake a high-profile platform to campaign for an election that’s two years away. That being said, Chaffetz has been under a lot of pressure. Utah is very conservative, but Donald Trump is not popular there, and his constituents feel he’s not doing enough to investigate scandals in the Trump administration. He was booed off the stage by constituents in Utah. Lots of money has been donated to unseat him. He’s done serving, wants to step aside and spend more time with his family.”
“It’s something of a commentary on politics today,” said Buck. “If that’s true, I admire that, but politicians tend to be narcissistic in the extreme.”
Rex on Russia
Buck changed the focus to comments Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made verifying that Iran has complied with the conditions set out in the Iran deal, while at the same time promising that there is an “ongoing review” of the conditions of the deal to examine whether the objectives are stringent enough.
“We’ve gotten used to the idea that the Secretary of State should be a pinstripe-suit-wearing geek,” said Buck, somewhat in praise of Tillerson’s unique style. “They all tend to have the same internationalist perspective.”
Buck then played clips in which Tillerson called Iran “the leading state sponsor of terrorism,” and describing the review of the Iran deal in detail.
“Rex is putting the mullahs on notice here,” Buck said. “Sure, they’re abiding by the Iran deal, but the Iran deal is not good for our interests. At some point they might begin to cheat, get brash and bold, and Tillerson is letting them know he thinks the deal doesn’t do enough to stop them. This administration will be very happy to take the first opportunity offered to give them a lesson they will never forget.”
Coulter Canceled…But Rallying
Buck then welcomed Emily Zanotti, politics writer for Heat Street, and the two discussed, among other things, Berkeley’s decision to cancel Ann Coulter’s speech–and Coulter’s decision to go anyway.
Buck said that Coulter essentially agreed to a list of conditions that “looked more like a hostage tradeoff,” and still the university canceled.
“In fact,” said Zanotti, “she said that she would bring her own private security, that they didn’t have to provide a police force, and they still said, ‘We just can’t take the chance. We know these antifa people are going to show up.’”
“Antifa…it’s not even a good name,” Buck said. “It sounds like what I would spray in the locker room to get rid of a bad odor.”
Zanotti revealed that she was an outspoken conservative in her college days, and Buck applauded her.
“There’s no better advertisement for students to explore conservatism as a philosophy than the birthplace of the free speech movement acting like free speech is a hateful concept,” observed Buck.
French on Feminist Ferocity
Finally, National Review writer David French joined Buck to discuss his latest piece, Feminism Has a Ferocity Problem, about the devaluing of traditional (and in some cases natural) roles for women.
“I’ve noticed a real turn in the rhetoric,” French began. “What you’re beginning to see is this idea that women need to be fierce, they need to be aggressive, they need to be fighters. It’s creating this fiction. It’s pushing girls into this box of boyhood, when they’re not the same.”
Buck asked why the Left wants to erase gender distinctions.
“A lot of this boils down to pure careerism, to ambition,” French argued. “In a free and just society, it’s about being able to define for yourself what success is, and living according to the way you want to live. But feminism is saying it’s a loss to feminism if a brilliant woman wants to stay home with the kids. Rather than it being about choices in how you live, it’s about outcomes, and those outcomes have to mirror the male world in order to be valid.”
Buck brought up as an example the cult status attained by the “Fearless Girl” statues now staring down the Bull statue outside Wall Street.
“I don’t even know what she’s supposed to be fearless of,” Buck mused.
“Yeah, it’s become almost a pilgrimage site,” said French. “It makes no sense in context. You have this tiny girl in front of a wild animal. I’d call it ‘Seconds Before Tragedy.’”
French did say that “some women aren’t wired to be pretty darn ferocious. And a fair society says that people should have equal opportunity to succeed in fields where they’re able. But reality gets a vote here.”