Here is a very good, but long read by Jane Meyer regarding the closeness of Fox News and the Trump White House.
Does it trouble anyone else that we have the highest rated network on cable acting basically as State Run Television?
There are some pretty wild revelations in the article.
Conservative Jennifer Rubin offers this take…
The Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, another conservative Never Trumper, used to appear on the network, but wouldn’t do so now. “Fox was begun as a good-faith effort to counter bias, but it’s morphed into something that is not even news,” she says. “It’s simply a mouthpiece for the President, repeating what the President says, no matter how false or contradictory.” The feedback loop is so strong, she notes, that Trump “will even pick up an error made by Fox,” as when he promoted on Twitter a bogus Fox story claiming that South Africa was “seizing land from white farmers.” Rubin told me, “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.”
Looks like Fox also fed Trump debate questions ahead of time. Sounds familiar…
Trump has made the debate a point of pride. He recently boasted to the Times that he’d won it despite being a novice, and despite the “crazy Megyn Kelly question.” Fox, however, may have given Trump a little help. A pair of Fox insiders and a source close to Trump believe that Ailes informed the Trump campaign about Kelly’s question. Two of those sources say that they know of the tipoff from a purported eyewitness. In addition, a former Trump campaign aide says that a Fox contact gave him advance notice of a different debate question, which asked the candidates whether they would support the Republican nominee, regardless of who won. The former aide says that the heads-up was passed on to Trump, who was the only candidate who said that he wouldn’t automatically support the Party’s nominee—a position that burnished his image as an outsider.
Ailes never believed Trump would win, and openly was working with Trump to form a new network to challenge Fox, after they both thought Trump would lose, as he never intended to win to begin with.
Ailes, meanwhile, joined Trump’s debate team, further erasing the line between Fox and conservative politicians. Ailes also began developing a plan to go into business with Trump. The Sunday before the election, Ailes called Steve Bannon, Trump’s campaign chairman, and said that he’d been talking with Trump about launching Trump TV, a nationalist competitor to Fox. Ailes was so excited that he was willing to forfeit his severance payment from Fox, which was attached to a non-compete agreement. He asked Bannon to join the venture and to start planning it as soon as Trump lost the election.
“What are you talking about?” Bannon recalls replying. “We’re going to win.”
“Stop the ■■■■■■■■■■ Ailes responded. “It’s going to be a blowout. It’ll be over by eight o’clock.”
Fox participated in a catch-and-kill operation PRIOR to the election, to prevent the story about Trump’s affair with Stormy Daniels becoming public before the election, which could have cause Trump to lose the election. This part is extremely egregious in my opinion.
When Shine assumed command at Fox, the 2016 campaign was nearing its end, and Trump and Clinton were all but tied. That fall, a FoxNews.com reporter had a story that put the network’s journalistic integrity to the test. Diana Falzone, who often covered the entertainment industry, had obtained proof that Trump had engaged in a sexual relationship in 2006 with a pornographic film actress calling herself Stormy Daniels. Falzone had worked on the story since March, and by October she had confirmed it with Daniels through her manager at the time, Gina Rodriguez, and with Daniels’s former husband, Mike Moz, who described multiple calls from Trump. Falzone had also amassed e-mails between Daniels’s attorney and Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen, detailing a proposed cash settlement, accompanied by a nondisclosure agreement. Falzone had even seen the contract.
But Falzone’s story didn’t run—it kept being passed off from one editor to the next. After getting one noncommittal answer after another from her editors, Falzone at last heard from LaCorte, who was then the head of FoxNews.com. Falzone told colleagues that LaCorte said to her, “Good reporting, kiddo. But Rupert wants Donald Trump to win. So just let it go.”
Don Jr.'s new squeeze, Kimberly Guilfoyle would actually use some internet commando to get the content for her section of The Five. One of us here perhaps?
To the astonishment of colleagues, the Fox co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle often prepared for “The Five” by relying on information provided to her by an avid fan: a viewer from Georgia named David Townsend, who had no affiliation either with Fox News or with journalism. She’d share the day’s planned topics with Townsend, and then he’d e-mail her suggested content. A former colleague of Guilfoyle’s says, “It was a joke among the production assistants—they were, like, ‘Wait till you hear this!’ She actually got research from him! It was the subject of hilarity.”
Given Fox’s status as a dominant source of information for Trump, some people argue that the network should be especially vigilant about outside influence. Aki Peritz, a former C.I.A. analyst who is an adjunct professor at American University, has written that Fox News has become an inviting target for foreign spy agencies, because “it’s what the President sees.” But a source who spoke to me about Guilfoyle and Townsend says, “It’s even worse than a conspiracy of the dark Web, or something trying to manipulate Fox. It was just a guy in his underwear in Georgia who had influence over Fox News! And Fox News influences the President!”
What are your thoughts?