Politics

What It’s Like To Ring In The New Year With Fox News

CREDIT: Screenshot

There are many different ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve. You can get dressed up, drink fancy champagne and dance the night away. You can stay in and toast the New Year with friends. You can spend $400 to eat Olive Garden.

If you are less ambitious, there is TV. Last night offered a bevy of options. Ryan Seacrest and anti-vaxxer Jenny McCarthy hosted the festivities on ABC, with performances by Demi Lovato, Wiz Khalifa and One Direction. On CNN, Anderson Cooper rang in the New Year with Kathy Griffin, who apparently took her shirt off. NBC’s programming started at 8PM with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, before Carson Daly took over the reins at 10PM.

But for truly patriotic Americans, Fox News offers three hours of programming called an “All American New Year.” In an interview with TV Guide hyping the broadcast, co-Host Kimberly Guilfoyle promises that “[w]e’re going to make New Year’s and America great again.”

My plans are set.

9:00: The program has started and there is no sign of Kimberly Guilfoyle or her co-host Eric Bolling. Instead, we learn the first hour will be hosted by what can only be described as the Fox News D-Team: Bill O’Reilly henchman and Fox News bro Jesse Watters, Former MTV VJ turned libertarian pundit Kennedy and someone I’ve never heard of named Katherine Timpf.

9:01: Watters immediately starts hyping an interview with Donald Trump: “The one, the only Donald Trump is going to be ringing in the New Year at midnight with Eric Bolling and Kimberly Guilfoyle. Who knows what he’s going to say?” This interview is not happening for another two hours and fifty minutes.

Timpf screams: “THE REAL DONALD TRUMP”

Kennedy adds that they’ll also be hearing from other candidates “including some you didn’t even know were still running for President.”

9:05: If three hours of coverage isn’t enough for you, Red Eye, Fox News’ comedy show, will be counting down the top 1000 stories of 2015 starting at 12:30AM.

9:06: For some reason we are talking about “The Dress.” Is it white-and-gold or black-and-blue? Kennedy has a joke: “Black dresses matter.”

9:08: They’ve started talking about the security precautions in Times Square so I decide to take a moment to figure out why Katherine Timpf is here. According to Wikipedia she is a “is an American television personality, reporter and comedian living in New York City.” She recently wrote an article for the National Review called “Hillary Clinton is not a feminist.”

“I’m a woman; I support women — and that’s exactly why I could never support Hillary Clinton,” Timpf writes.

9:11: Kennedy reveals her New Year’s resolution: “I’m resolved to commit myself to freedom. To secure your freedom. To make sure that 2016 brings freedom and liberty like never before.” Thanks Kennedy!

9:15: Watters back to hyping the Trump interview. “This is going to be a big year in politics and one of the people who is going to be a part of it DONALD TRUMP.” Watters seems genuinely happy every time he says Trump’s name. For those keeping track, this is two promos for the Trump interview in the first 15 minutes.

9:17: We now move to the substantive portion of the evening and are joined by astrologer Susan Miller.

“Astrology is not destiny. So you have to go out to vote,” Miller reminds us.

Miller starts by giving us a reading on Donald Trump. “Mr. Trump is a brilliant communicator. He is born with the Uranus Conjunct Sun.”

Jesse Watters cuts her off so we don’t get to find out what that means.

I try to find more about Susan Miller on her website. The “About” page contains only the following information: “Susan Miller’s bio changes because of the abundance of projects she does on a regular basis.”

9:26: We’ve now moved to a taped bit. It’s a “special edition” of “Watters’ World” where Jesse Watters gets to show off his wit by talking to people.

He talks to one woman who says 2015 has not been a very good year. Why, he asks. “I don’t think we are dealing with stuff properly,” she says. Hard to argue with that.

9:30: Kennedy promos the Trump interview again. That makes three.

9:30: We now throw to Fox News personality Griff Jenkins, who is reporting from The Fontainebleau hotel in South Beach. He is dancing very awkwardly with two women.

9:34: “Did we mention that Donald Trump is going to be counting down tonight?,” Watters asks. Yes, this is actually the fourth time you’ve mentioned it already.

Katherine Timpf is still here. She says Trump appearing on the broadcast is a “dream come true. I’ve had dreams about Donald Trump counting to me.”

9:36: Back to Griff Jenkins at The Fontainebleau.

“A lot of hot, young attractive women” at this hotel in Miami, Jenkins reports.

9:38: Watters promos the Donald Trump interview again. (That’s five.) He also mentions that Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina will be joining the program live.

9:38: Now we are treated to a video greeting from Jim Gilmore.

I assume this is who Kennedy was referring to when she said there would be candidates on the show that people had forgot were running.

Katherine Timpf is impressed. “You crushed it Jim,” she says.

She’s right. He did crush it.

9:40: Rubio’s campaign has bought an ad during this program. Obama has been humiliated by various people, he tells me, looking into the camera.

9:43: “We are just waiting for the ball to drop. This thing is going to come down hard,” Watters says. I can’t believe we aren’t even 45 minutes in.

9:49: Jeb Bush’s Super PAC has also bought ad time. The people who run the Super PAC want you to know he can stand up to Trump and plays clips from the last debate that make him look at lot tougher than he actually was.

This is a microcosm of the entire campaign. Much of this broadcast has been an infomercial for Trump. Jeb is stuck paying big bucks for 60 seconds of rebuttal.

9:53: We are now treated to a taped message from Sean Hannity revealing his New Year’s resolution.

“I only have one. I will do everything in my power to get a conservative elected president,” Hannity says.

This seems like it might violate FEC rules since he’s basically saying his show will be an in kind donation to the GOP nominee? But I digress.

9:54: There is a juggler. This segment had potential but instead of juggling he’s teaching Jesse Watters how to juggle. It does not go well.

9:55: Unfortunately, it’s clear now that Watters, Kennedy and Timpf have run out of people to interview and things to say. But they have five minutes left. So they riff. This is the worst part.

9:56: Watters reminds us that Donald Trump is joining the broadcast around midnight. (6)

10:00: Eric Bolling and Kimberly Guilfoyle take over.

Eric Bolling is keeping it super classy, wearing a tux. He is talking to Trump at midnight, I’ve heard.

10:01: Bolling promos the Trump interview. (7)

Bolling manages to get one more plug for the Trump interview before the clock ticks to 10:02. You can tell he’s genuinely excited about it. (8)

10:02: Rubio joins via tape to share his resolution. He’s looking cozy in front of a fireplace wearing a fleece with his logo on it. His resolution is less a resolution than his stump speech with the word resolution tacked onto the front:

My resolution is to do everything I can to not just to restore the American dream but to expand it and to reach more people and change more lives than ever before. So that this, the greatest country in the world, can be greater than it has ever been.

10:03: Now we get Huckabee on tape.

“I hope you’ve had a good 2015. But I’m hoping you’ll have a better 2016. Hey, I’m hoping I’m going to have one too,” he says.

He has no resolution.

10:04: We are now joined by Bernie McGuirk who is asking trivia questions to random people in Times Square. If you get the question right, you win $5.

First question: “Which presidential candidate insisted he hit his mom over the head with a hammer?”

It’s Ben Carson. The guy gets it right and wins $5.

Second question “Who shot Cecil the lion? A. An MSNBC host, B. An abortion doctor, C. A dentist.”

The answer is C. He wins another $5.

Third question: “Which presidential candidate has been to multiple Bruce Springsteen concerts?”

Donald Trump?, the man answers.

Poor Chris Christie. This is the closest he’ll get to being mentioned during the show.

10:06: We are now joined by Tom Shillue, host of “Red Eye.”

He’s asking people about their most embarrassing moment of 2015.

A woman tells a story about how she was standing on a toilet and her leg fell in. Moral of the story: Don’t stand on toilets.

10:14: Another Rubio ad, this one from his Super PAC. The ad claims that legislation he helped pass “all but killed Obamacare.” This isn’t true.

10:18: We are now treated to an interview of three brothers who were all sworn in as NYPD today, which has vaulted them into fame, allegedly.

One of the brothers, John, is single. He’s “put in a request” for Kim Guilfoyle at midnight. This is pretty creepy.

“Honestly I’m speechless. I still can’t believe. She’s a beautiful woman. We watch The Five all the time. So again, it’s so surreal,” John says.

Bolling is very into this. “So he’s apparently very excited Kimberly and he’s looking forward eagerly to midnight,” he tells her. I hope this is a joke.

10:20: We are now joined live by Carly Fiorina, who is joined by her husband Frank. She has her arm linked into his.

Fiorina tells us that “people feel powerless because they are,” which is not a very optimistic message. Liberal elites and the media are to blame.

10:22: Bolling: “Don’t forget because this is going to be huge. Donald Trump helps us ring in the new year later in the show.” (9)

This better be the greatest interview of all time.

10:26: I’m running out of steam. I take a break to eat an ice cream sandwich. I feel better.

10:35: Another Donald Trump promo. (10)

10:36: Katherine Timpf is back. I wasn’t expecting that.

She is making a “craft cocktail.” Her cocktail contains no alcohol or any other kind of liquid — it is just a glass with fruit in it. I think this is a comedy bit.

10:40: “Republican Frontrunner Donald Trump will help us ring in the New Year,” Bolling reminds us. (11)

10:40: Astrologer Susan Miller is back.

Bolling has a better chart than most of the candidates, Miller says. She says he has remarkable writing ability.

Guilfoyle has Jupiter Conjunct Pluto, which she has in common with Abraham Lincoln. George Washington, Robert De Nero and Bill Gates. She’ll be coming into a lot of money soon, according to Miller. Guilfoyle seems pleased.

Bolling asks which candidate has the best chart.

“Mr. Trump has a great chart. He’s a Gemini. Brilliant communicator. Very much of a maverick,” she says. “He also has the moon in Sagitarius. He tells the truth… but he also has TROUBLE WITH WOMEN.”

There is no follow up on the bombshell. Bolling wants to know about Hillary Clinton’s chart. Miller seems nervous:

Look, it’s never predestined. You know what I mean. Like we all have to vote. We can’t just go to sleep and find out who won we have to vote. But her constituency is solid. They don’t waiver. They love her and they stay with her.

Is Miller predicting a Hillary victory? She doesn’t say and Bolling doesn’t ask. It’s probably better this way.

Miller says that Rubio and Cruz also have good charts but “Dr. Carson is heading back to the operating table.”

If Trump doesn’t win the presidency “he’s going to have his best financial year in over a decade.”

10:47: Jesse Watters is back and is now wearing a tuxedo.

He’s with a burlesque dancer and a little person with a big hat.

watters

He asks her if she’s single. She says it depends.

10:49: Back to Griff Jenkins in Miami.

“There’s like a seriously famous DJ up there.”

“It is hot and the dancing is hot and the party is hot and it’s only getting hotter.”

10:50: Guilfoyle: “Donald Trump will be here to help us bring in the new year and make America great again.” (12)

10:58: Bolling: “Next hour, Donald Trump is going to join us.” (13)

“Who do you think is going to kiss Kimberly at midnight?,” Bolling asks. I hope not the creepy brother from the NYPD.

11:00PM: In one hour I won’t be watching Fox News anymore.

11:01PM: “Donald Trump will join us live this hour!” (14) Thanks for the reminder Eric!

11:01PM: Jeb! now delivers his message via tape.

That was it! It lasted five seconds.

Bolling seems baffled. “He had more time! We gave him as much time as he wanted!”

This is a really sad example of the futility of Jeb’s campaign. His Super PAC is buying ads during this program, so this is clearly an audience that he wants to reach. He then has an opportunity to deliver a message to this audience for an extended period of time for no money. Instead he speaks for five seconds and says nothing.

Back to the infomercial for Donald Trump.

11:02PM: But first, Cruz delivers his video message.

The highlight of Cruz’s video is a long story about an old man who comes to the White House and asks for Obama. I don’t find the story particularly clever but I imagine this is the kind of stuff his supporters really like.

Bolling is impressed. “Gotta love the story. That guy can tell a story.”

Guilfoyle agrees. “That was very special and creative.”

11:06: Bernie McGuirk is back with more trivia. Rules are the same. Correct answers are worth $5.

Question 1: “Which celebrity announced that he’s HIV positive from sleeping with hookers? A. Lamar Odom, B. Bill Clinton, C. Charlie Sheen”

Glad we are keeping this classy.

Question 2: “Who is the biggest liar of the year? A. Tom Brady B. Brian Williams C. Hillary Clinton”

The answer was was Brian Williams. McGuirk claims Williams “said he shot Osama Bin Laden.”

11:12: Back to Griff Jenkins in Miami. He’s asking people their New Year’s resolutions.

This woman’s resolution is to become famous.

image1

“Thank you world. Follow me on twitter.”

She doesn’t mention her Twitter handle.

11:13: “Later Donald Trump will help us ring in the New Year” (15)

11:18: Martin O’Malley delivers a short video greeting.

Guilfoyle calls him a “class act” for participating. She notes they invited Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton but never heard back.

11:20: We are now joined live by Ben Carson and his wife Candy.

Guilfoyle asks him the following “question”:

Dr. Carson I really love your message. Just going back to education. The value, the importance of it. I know you credit that and also your mother to [sic] helping to create you to be the man that you are today with education — the lives that you have touched through medicine and now the lives you want to touch across the country as you seek the nomination for the GOP for the presidency of the United States. How are you feeling tonight about all of that and what you have accomplished here in this great country?

Carson answers.

“God bless you for what you are trying to do for this country,” Guilfoyle says in conclusion.

She doesn’t mention the astrologer thinks he is toast.

11:23: “Donald Trump is going to join us” (16)

11:24: The magician is back.

He says that he can swallow 20 needles and then bring them back up.

“Is that something you had to work on or have you always been able to do that?,” Bolling asks.

The magician admits he had to work on it.

11:41: Fake interview with a National Guard member. It’s actually just a ruse so he can propose. She says yes. It’s kind of sweet. I’m in an emotionally vulnerable state.

11:42: We are promised that Donald Trump will be on next. “You don’t want to miss it. It’s going to be huge.” (17)

11:43: We come back to the three brothers who joined the NYPD. None of them are Donald Trump.

11:52: TRUMP IS HERE!

“Everyone has been waiting for this big moment in America with Donald Trump,” Bolling says.

Trump says, “We are going to have a great time next year. It’s going to be a great year.”

“All of America is watching you and your beautiful family,” Guilfoyle says. This is not true. I personally know many people who are not watching.

Bolling asks Trump how he can reach him on New Year’s Eve 2017.

AUDIO PROBLEMS. TRUMP CAN’T HEAR ANYTHING.

“I really cannot understand you. I cannot hear you… I can hear partially. Every other word, I can hear.” This is the interview we’ve been waiting all night for.

“What has been your favorite thing out on the campaign trail about meeting the people,” Bolling asks.

Trump hears this one. “I love the people,” Trump says.

“Do you have a message for Hillary Clinton?,” Bolling speaking loudly now.

“I didn’t really hear your question.”

Bolling tries screaming. “DO YOU HAVE A MESSAGE FOR HILLARY CLINTON?”

That works. Trump says, “I think I’ll be her worst nightmare but we’ll find out.”

The look on Bolling’s face is heartbreaking. It’s three minutes to midnight and this was his moment. He’s now having to relay his questions to Guilfoyle who screams them to Trump.

“WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE TO OTHER CANDIDATES?”

“We have a very big lead and I intend to keep it. Not because I want the job but because I want to do something great for the country and great for the people,” Trump says.

Guilfoyle asks Trump to reveal his New Year’s resolution.

“My resolution is to make America great again.”

“Good answer,” Kim says.

Bolling’s mic is working again! “How is the party?,” he asks.

“It’s amazing,” Trump says.

Bolling then asks Trump if his family wants to say something. Trump hands the microphone to his daughter Ivanka, who delivers a long monologue about the virtues of Trump as the clock ticks toward midnight.

Obviously I think my father is just incredible. I’ve seen this my whole entire life. (52 seconds) Both as a child and as an executive working alongside him. (47 seconds) No one will be better at creating jobs in this country which is so important to the vitality of the whole system. From a jobs perspective, from a strength perspective and just generally creating a brand for America around the globe that is respected once again. (28 seconds). So. I’m very proud of him. I’m so proud to see how his message is resonating with so many people and I’m very excited to be kicking off an amazing 2016 as a collective so. (17 seconds). Thank you. Happy New Year.

I think the idea of “creating a brand for America” is a great description of the Trump campaign. He is a branding expert. He’s found the right brand to lead the GOP field for the time being.

Bolling is panicking. The entire point was to have Trump do the countdown. But there are only seconds left. “Donald what we want to do is we want to let you do your countdown,” Bolling says (10 Seconds)

Bolling realizes there is no time and recalibrates. “Stay with us we’ll get back to you right after the ball drops,” he pleads.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

It’s now 2016 and Trump didn’t get to count. No matter, he starts counting anyway.

“Five, four, three, two, one.”

Bolling kisses a blond woman. Not sure who she is. (His wife?)

Guilfoyle kisses the creepy NYPD brother, I think on the lips.

Donald kisses his wife Melania. He mouths “thank you” to the Fox News camera. Melania and Donald walk off in opposite directions.

Bolling and Guilfoyle kiss.

There is more but not for me. I turn off Fox News.

Silence.