What do you do when your pick for president loses the election but the one who wins is actually very hard to criticise?

That’s the dilemma that Conservative media outlet Newsmax has been facing since Joe Biden was officially sworn in as the 46th president of the United States.

Newsmax has been around since the late 1990s, but has recently become a talking point due to its initial support for Trump’s unfounded claims of voter fraud after he lost the election.

A recent segment presented by former Fox News host Greg Kelly took a turn for the bizarre, as the anchor decided to criticise the Bidens’ dog, Champ.

Kelly began the commentary by saying: “Did you see the dog? I wanna show you something I noticed. Doesn’t he look a little rough? I love dogs, but this dog needs a bath and a comb and all kinds of love and care. I’ve never seen a dog in the White House like this.”

He then goes on to compare Champ’s appearance to George HW Bush’s dog Millie, saying Biden’s dog “looks like – I’m sorry – from the junkyard.”

At this point, Kelly brings in two White House historians, Doug Wead and Craig Shirley, to further analyse this pressing political issue.

Shirley, based on a single photo taking up the entire screen, asserts that Champ does not look “well cared for”. He says: “He looks very dirty and dishevelled, and very unlike a presidential dog, like Millie or [Ronald Reagan’s dog] Victory.”

The clip was posted on Twitter on Saturday and people were left baffled by the exchange.

People pointed out that Champ is 12 years old, having been purchased after Obama won the 2008 presidential election. While we’re not sure the concept of “ageism” can really apply to animals, people saw the criticism of an elderly dog with various ailments as indicative of Kelly’s broader worldview.

Others took the opportunity to remind people that just days before, Republican Ted Cruz reportedly left his poodle Snowflake behind in Texas – which was dealing with freezing temperatures and power outages – to jet off with his family to Cancun, Mexico.

All in all, the segment seems to have backfired as viewers see it as a sign that Trump supporters are clutching at straws when it comes to finding ways to try and make Biden look bad.

For next time, maybe they’ll remember to focus on the policies, not the pets.

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