I read an eye-widener this morning on CNN. If you want to understand why there is such an angry schism among Americans these days — hate the guy versus love the guy — check out Donald Trump’s channel selections. This is the tally of President Trump’s interviews with major American news organizations since inauguration day:
Fox — 19
New York Times — 4
NBC — 3
Reuters — 3
Wall Street Journal — 2
CBN — 2
ABC — 1
CBS — 1
Washington Post — 1
Associated Press — 1
Time — 1
Forbes — 1
Some have noted that Trump is anti-pet and the first president in forever not to have a dog, cat, pony, raccoon or whatever roaming the White House, but it seems obvious he already has one: Fox. Much as the Russians groomed this president by funneling countless millions in laundered money through his overpriced condos, Trump has groomed Fox’s allegiance by giving them access at the expense of others.
Fox, of course, is hardly an investigative juggernaut. The network is talking heads and puff pieces, compliant “butt-kissers” as we used to call them, so detached from fact-based investigative reporting that journalism at its professional core is nowhere to be found. Any network who rehires one of its star motormouths after a $32 million sexual harassment settlement does not consider integrity part of its brand.
Adding up the number of interviews granted to the 11 more esteemed news sources listed beneath Fox, the combined total is 20. Fox has nineteen. What does this tell us?
Trump has had zero formal interviews with any of the scorned 11 since May. Five months of closed access has let Trump feed his rabid, ill-informed, and blindly loyal base, but also opened the door to investigative journalism by other organizations that will eventually help topple his chaotic charade as president. Watching Trump’s work is similar to an ambulance trying to parallel park. Both are brilliant examples of rush-rush incompetence.
Trump can run and Trump can hide but Trump cannot do both forever. Increasing millions of Americans — the most recent additions being alienated Republican senators — are rejecting his pseudo-substantive, “whack-a-mole” governance built around emotional, ill informed, and crude interactions. The job is bigger than his skill set but not his ego. He will pay the price by leaving office early or we will pay it if he stays.
Fox is an enabler, not a voice of truth. Until the president is willing to face news organizations that truly are voices of truth he will continue as a Russian protectorate, global punch line, and national threat to freedom and democracy.
We are in uncharted waters here. Hopefully we will see some changes soon.
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