Dan Rather is sounding off on Fox News, saying the conservative media outlet is now the “closest we’ve come to state-run media” for its unwavering support of Donald Trump and attacks against his critics.
The CBS Evening News legend has long been critical of Donald Trump and is now taking aim at his biggest supporter in the media as well. Speaking to The Daily Beast, Rather responded to an expose from Jane Mayer of The New Yorker that claimed Fox News went to great lengths to bury stories harmful to Trump, even quashing a reporter’s scoop about the hush money payment to Stormy Daniels before it could be published in the waning days of the 2016 presidential campaign.
Rather said Fox News is no longer an objective media outlet but instead acting essentially as an extension of the White House.
“This is the closest we have come to having state-run media,” Rather said. “If someone wants to argue, ‘Well, it’s not state-run media’—which it virtually is—it’s certainly the closest we’ve ever come in this country to having a state-run media; a straight-up propaganda outlet.”
Rather went on to say that there are some good journalists working at Fox News, naming Chris Wallace, but said as a whole, it is closer to the noted Russian state-media mouthpiece Radio Moscow than an American news outlet.
Mayer’s expose on Fox News has already led to a major backlash against the network. Shortly after The New Yorker story was published, the Democratic National Committee announced that it would not allow Fox News to host a Democratic primary debate.
“Recent reporting in The New Yorker on the inappropriate relationship between President Trump, his administration and FOX News has led me to conclude that the network is not in a position to host a fair and neutral debate for our candidates,” DNC Chairman Tom Perez said in a statement (via NPR). “Therefore, FOX News will not serve as a media partner for the 2020 Democratic primary debates.”
Dan Rather said Fox News is “not that far" from becoming “a state-run, state-sponsored, straight-up propaganda outlet” for Donald Trump's White House. https://t.co/JXrTjJ2Apj
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) March 22, 2019
Others have taken aim at the seemingly cozy relationship between Donald Trump and Fox News. The cable news outlet has long been a favorite of Trump, who frequently tweets about stories and segments he recently watched, especially on his favorite morning show Fox & Friends. Trump also has a close relationship with host Sean Hannity, reportedly speaking to Hannity nearly nightly by phone. It was also revealed last year that Hannity was a client of Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, but Hannity failed to disclose the relationship when he took to the air to defend both Trump and Cohen.