The March 11 New Yorker magazine features a long-form, explosive article on the Fox News connection to the Trump administration.
It’s written by a highly rated journalist, Jane Mayer, who told a TV anchor that she had interviewed 75 sources for the hugely revelatory piece.
The expository magazine story centers on the working relationship between Rupert Murdoch, billionaire owner of Fox News, and Donald Trump.
The article quotes Nicole Hemmer, an assistant professor of presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center in summing up the Fox News propaganda link with this comment: “It’s the closest we’ve come to having state TV.”
Hemmer said that Fox News, which is the most watched cable news network, generates about $2.7 billion a year for its parent company, 21st Century Fox, and acts as a force multiplier for Trump, solidifying his hold over the Republican Party and intensifying his support.
“Fox is not just taking the temperature of the base — it’s raising the temperature … it’s a radicalization model,” the article said.
For both Trump and Fox, “fear is a business strategy — it keeps people watching.”
Joe Peyronnin, a professor of journalism at NYU, said, “I’ve never seen anything like it before. It’s as if the president had his own press organization. It’s not healthy.”
Bill Shine, formerly a co-president at Fox, has been serving in the White House as communications director, but on March 8, the administration said he resigned abruptly.
Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, a conservative Never Trumper, said, “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.”
Fox commentator Sean Hannity told colleagues that he speaks to the president virtually every night, after his show ends, at 10 p.m.
Multiple sources told Mayer that Murdoch and Trump often talk on the phone.
Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner reportedly communicates frequently with Murdoch, who turns 88 this month.”
Blair Levin, formerly the chief of staff at the Federal Communications Commission and now a fellow at Brooking Institution, said “Fox’s great insight wasn’t necessarily that there was a great desire for a conservative point of view. The genius was seeing that there’s an attraction to fear-based, anger-based politics that has to do with class and race.”
During the 2016 campaign, Murdoch negatively Tweeted that Trump was “embarrassing his friends” and “the whole country.”
Diana Falzone, a FoxNews.com reporter, obtained proof that Trump had engaged in a sexual relationship with Stormy Daniels.
When the story didn’t run on Fox, the then head of FoxNews.com told her, “Good reporting, kiddo. But Rupert wants Donald Trump to win. So just let it go.”
A former FCC chairman told Mayer that, “there have been three moves that have taken place in the regulatory and antitrust world,” involving telecommunications “that are extremely unusual, and the only way to explain them is that they’re pro-Fox, pro-Fox and pro-Fox.”
Levin, the former FCC official, told Mayer that Murdoch “is an incredibly cunning political player. He leaves no fingerprints. He’s been in the game of influencing government behavior to his benefit longer than most of us have been alive.”
One reviewer of the New Yorker article wrote “Mayer mixes revelation, reminder and fresh color to paint a unified, long-term portrait of the Fox-Trump relationship.”
It’s not likely that the ties between the two will change in the near future.