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Fox News Isn’t State-Run Media But It’s Certainly State-Endorsed Media [Opinion]



Ever since Donald Trump won the Republican nomination, there has been one network that has reliably been in his corner: Fox News. No matter what Trump has done, from the infamous Access Hollywood debacle to the Russia investigation, Fox’s primetime hosts have defended his every move, utterance, and tweet. This has led to some notable people labeling Fox News state-run media as if America is slowly but surely going full authoritarian in the Trump Era.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

It is frightening to have a major news network be so unfailingly loyal to a leader. This is not the sort of thing one expects to see in a nation where the press is supposed to be there to hold those in power accountable. So, the aforementioned characterization is understandable. After all, Trump has publicly mused about punishing late-night comedy hosts and satirical shows like NBC’s Saturday Night Live for making fun of him:

He has also questioned how news networks that criticize him get away with it and called their actions the “real collusion”:

However, Fox is not state-run media. The White House does not forcibly control what they do and say under threat of legal action. We are not yet in North Korea territory here. The conservative network is, however, state-endorsed media.

Donald Trump himself regularly defends and endorses Fox’s hosts on Twitter. For instance, when Justice with Judge Jeanine host Jeanine Pirro was suspended, Trump tweeted his support for her, and his displeasure with the network:

Pirro’s suspension came after she made Islamophobic remarks about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) live on the air. The host suggested that Rep. Omar’s wearing of the hijab meant that she was not loyal to America.

Another instance of this occurred when Tucker Carlson Tonight host Tucker Carlson was embattled over offensive comments he had made as well. He said that Fox News had to “stay strong”:

CNN’s Brian Stelter did an in-depth analysis of the relationship between Trump and Fox News in late March, which he called “unprecedented.” Stelter says:

“On Sunday he defended two of Fox’s right-wing opinion shows and criticized three of the network’s news anchors. Most notably of all, he used Twitter to send a long message to Fox executives, urging them to ‘stay true to the people that got you there.’ It was like Trump was saying to his favorite television network, ‘keep having my back and I’ll have yours.'”

Stelter is correct. It is a cycle. If the White House, and Trump particularly, is pleased with the coverage, Trump will tweet favorably. That means more ratings from Trump supporters, who appear to follow along with Trump’s suggestions. It also keeps Trump’s base in line, because they will likely never break with Trump until Fox tells them to break.

This is a dangerous, vicious cycle in which roughly 40% of the nation remains brainwashed and controlled. Trump was right — for some people, he could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and they’d still support him. Fox News makes sure of that.



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