It’s been easy to see since their founding in the mid-90s that the vision at Fox News Network is one of Republican policy, Republican control, and ongoing Republican victories. At the outset of the network, they made it plain that they fully intended to bring down the Clinton administration, and even just the name of the cable news channel, while at odds with the corporation’s larger business as a producer of movies, television, and entertainment, at this point is synonymous with the Republican party and, frankly, lies.
Yes, all of that is easy to recall as basically a recap of the last 20 years of cable news. What’s hard is trying to imagine how Fox News could go from the channel that makes your one racist uncle forward you emails about “race science” because of some asshole who showed up on Sean Hannity’s program — to an even more right-wing version of itself.
That’s exactly what happened when Fox discovered Donald Trump could corral the exact people their news network caters to — the terminally unintelligent — even better than they could themselves.
Now a report has come out in the New Yorker that details just how deep the relationship between Fox and Trump goes, and let’s just say it’s far worse than just knowing that Trump and Hannity talk all the time on the phone and that Trump thinks he personally is the “& Friends” on the network’s flagship morning show.
It’s hard to try and guess what, if any, consequences will come to either the President or the network for essentially becoming a form of State Television — an administration-friendly outlet where Trump himself or any of his aides or staffers can go to “catapult the propaganda,” as George W. Bush might have said.
But there may be consequences in at least one aspect for the network if Trump’s effort to build the wall fails or he goes down in flames following the Mueller report or an indictment in the Southern District of New York.
According to Jane Mayer’s reporting, Fox had the story that ultimately broke in the Wall Street Journal about Trump’s affair with an adult film star:
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.”
I think you know that Fox never ran that story. And why? Because Ken LaCorte, at the time the head of the web department at Fox, told Falzone, “Good reporting, kiddo. But Rupert wants Donald Trump to win. So just let it go.”
Although the New Yorker piece also covers what appears to be Trump getting debate questions in advance of a Fox-hosted Republican debate as well, it’s the “catch-and-release” of the Stormy Daniels story that could pose problems for the network — if it’s determined that Trump committed a felony campaign finance violation in covering up the affair with hush money.
I want to say all of this surprises me, but nothing that Fox does surprises me anymore, and Trump stopped surprising me the day he made fun of a disabled reporter at a campaign rally by mocking his actual physical deformity and impediment like a schoolyard bully.
Let’s just hope that this leads a future administration to at least try and reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine in an effort to mitigate the effects of having a Republican propaganda network airing 24 hours a day.
Featured image via screen capture