Donald Trump and Fox News’ Sean Hannity are midnight phone buddies. The talk show host spends time with the president down at Mar-a-Lago, rubbing shoulders with the rich and not-so-famous. The New Yorker reporter Jane Myer just blew the lid off of the relationship between Fox and POTUS, and it is not pretty.
Assistant professor of presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center and the author of Messengers of the Right, Nicole Hemmer spoke about Fox. She said that the most watched cable news network hauls in $2.7 billion for 21st Century Fox:
‘It’s the closest we’ve come to having state TV. Fox is not just taking the temperature of the base—it’s raising the temperature. It’s a radicalization model. (For Trump and Fox) fear is a business strategy—it keeps people watching.’
Fox and Trump are linked, each protecting the other. The president’s tweets mimic the networks’ words. Even White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has appeared on the network around 30 times. Longtime former senior Fox News manager Ken Laporte said:
‘The people at Fox said the same thing about the press and Obama.’
Former Fox contributor Bill Kristol dislikes Trump so much that he appears on MSNBC News.
‘It’s changed a lot. Before, it was conservative, but it wasn’t crazy. Now it’s just propaganda.’
Professor of journalism and N.Y.U.. and former president of Fox News, Joe Peyronnin related:
‘I’ve never seen anything like it before. It’s as if the President had his own press organization. It’s not healthy.’
Former co-president of Fox News and current director of communications and deputy chief of staff for Trump, Conservative Bill Krystol talked about Hannity and Shine. He said they are one another’s children’s godfathers:
‘When I first met him, he was producing Hannity’s show at Fox, and the two were incredibly close.’
Another colleague said:
‘They spend their vacations together.’
A third colleague remembered:
‘I was rarely in Shine’s office when Sean didn’t call. And I was in Shine’s office a lot. They talked all the time—many times a day.’
Shine was fired from Fox due to many allegations of chronic sexual harassment against Bill O’Reilly and others.
Bill Krystol believes that when Trump appointed Shine to his White House, that was a scandal in and of itself:
‘It’s been wildly under-covered. It’s astounding that Shine—the guy who covered up Ailes’s horrible behavior—is the deputy chief of staff!’
The Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin is a conservative and used to appear on Fox. Yet, she has denounced Trump and refuses to go on Fox now:
‘Fox was begun as a good-faith effort to counter bias, but it’s morphed into something that is not even news. It’s simply a mouthpiece for the President, repeating what the President says, no matter how false or contradictory. (Trump) will even pick up an error made by Fox (and promote false stories). It’s funny that Bill Shine went over to the White House. He could have stayed in his old job. The only difference is payroll.’
Shine currently violates the federal ethics and conflict-of-interest statutes. He received millions of dollars from Fox while he has been in the White House. Some of it is severance pay from Fox, some of it is a bonus he was owed.
Other Fox graduates in the Trump administration are contributors Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, former acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker, National Security adviser John Bolton, and former deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland.
Recently, Trump chose former Fox News anchor Heather Nauert for the job of Ambassador to the United Nations (UN). She was spokesperson for the State Department, but had to leave, because she employed a nanny without a work permit.
Top Trump calmer and communications director Hope Hicks has gone to be 21st Century Fox’s top public relations officer. Former national security adviser Sebastian Gorka is a Fox regular.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.