Fox News shows conservatives how to disavow Trump rioters while clinging tighter than ever to the ex-president: columnists
President Donald Trump hugged the US flag as he arrived to speak at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland. (AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM)

A Fox News refugee nailed the essential truth animating the network's continued defense of Donald Trump and his election lies.

Two longtime contributors quit the network last month to protest its propaganda about the twice-impeached one-term president and the Jan. 6 insurrection, and one of them published a scathing new column about some of his former colleagues after the House select committee revealed they texted Trump's chief of staff begging him to call off the rioters -- who they falsely portrayed as leftist protesters that same night, reported the Washington Post.

“Laura Ingraham made a huge deal of the fact that she condemned the violence on her show on the evening of January 6. And she did," wrote conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg. "Although she sprinkled it with all sorts of fan service nonsense about Antifa provoking the violence and insinuations that the mob was right to be angry about the allegedly rigged election.”

"What she didn’t say is that the mob’s passions boiled over because of Donald Trump’s lies — and the megaphone she and her colleagues gave to those lies," Goldberg added. "From her texts it’s reasonable to assume that she believed — rightly — that this mob was Trump’s to command because the mob believed it was doing Trump’s bidding."

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Ingraham was willing to condemn the former president's mob, but not the former president himself, and instead spent the past 11 months cleaning up his mess -- and Post columnist Greg Sargent said that contradictory stance has spread throughout the conservative movement.

"The crucial point Goldberg makes is that this act — the downplaying of the role of Trump’s lies in inspiring the effort to violently disrupt the election’s conclusion — is a widespread phenomenon," Sargent wrote. "It’s essential to the 'conspiracy-mongering, demagogic, populist personality cult nonsense that defines so much of prime time Trumpism.'"