President Donald Trump, often accused of waging a war against the press, mostly spares Fox News of his attacks. Not for no reason, it seems, many have observed over the years that Trump and Fox News operate in coordination. For instance, a January Politico report has found that Trump and his favorite news channel appear to be willingly stuck in somewhat of a “feedback loop.”
Politico studied Trump’s Twitter feed for three months, concluding that the president often live-tweets the network’s coverage, therefore dictating the news cycle and effectively forcing other news outlets to report on Fox News talking points. Instead of relying on “the world’s most powerful information-gathering machine,” the United States intelligence community, Trump prefers to gain understanding about domestic and world events via his favorite cable news shows.
Similarly, Daniel W. Drezner, a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, observed in an op-ed penned for the Washington Post that there appears to exist something called “the Fox News effect.” Meaning, it has become clear even to the most casual of observers that Fox News plays a significant role in the president’s information diet. Trump, Drezner wrote, often appears to parrot Fox News talking points, regardless of how accurate the conservative network’s claims are.
In a January Twitter post, reporter Daniel Dale pointed out a few specific examples of Donald Trump either reacting to Fox News coverag, or parroting the talking points of the network’s hosts and pundits.
A day in the life of the president who doesn’t watch much TV primarily because of documents. pic.twitter.com/JMt0inwOGR— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) January 3, 2018
Perhaps further proving that there exists a Trump-Fox feedback loop is a new video created and released by nonprofit media watchdog group Media Matters. The video shows President Donald Trump directly repeating Fox News host — “chief propagandist,” is how the organization put it — Sean Hannity’s talking points. “It is becoming increasingly clear that the president is receiving inspiration for his daily rage tweets about the special counsel’s ongoing investigation from Hannity’s programming,” the group wrote.
The video shows Sean Hannity smearing Special Counsel Robert Mueller, making seemingly unsubstantiated claims about his probe into Russian election interference and possible coordination with the Trump campaign, discussing Trump critics and opponents, while propping up the president. Sean Hannity’s talking points, the video shows, are tweeted — often verbatim — by Donald Trump.
“The president is lashing out on Twitter, oftentimes employing language that can be traced back, nearly verbatim” to Sean Hannity, Media Matters concluded. Given Trump’s love for Fox News, this hardly comes as a surprise, but it has been reported that the president has a special bond with Hannity.
According to Newsweek, Sean Hannity has Donald Trump’s direct phone line, and the two men often talk multiple times during the day. During a typical late-night phone call, the president and the host reportedly discuss Mueller’s Russia probe and exchange information, seemingly coordinating with each other.
Perhaps cementing the special bond between Fox News and the White House is Heather Nauert’s promotion to United States ambassador to the United Nations, according to the Telegraph. Nauert spent more than a decade at the right wing cable network, and her promotion is guaranteed to “solidify one of the more notable trends in Donald Trump’s presidency – the remarkable influence of Fox News,” the publication pointed out.