A bombshell piece in The New Yorker says that in the Summer of 2017, Trump ordered his then Director of National Economic Council Gary Cohn to block the blockbuster merger between telecom giants AT&T and Time Warner. It was well known at that time that blocking the deal would benefit Fox News(Trump’s declared favorite news channel) while hurting CNN(his sworn enemy). Trump reportedly called Cohn and Chief of Staff Kelly into the Oval Office where he ordered Cohn to call the Justice Department and kill the merger
The author of the New Yorker piece Jane Mayer, told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, “The question is, has he[the President] been abusing his power to help his friend Rupert Murdoch, the mogul over at Fox, and to hurt his enemies, the people at CNN? This was an order from the President to his top economic adviser in the White House to block a deal, a very major multi billion dollar corporate deal and if they blocked the deal it was going to hurt CNN and it was going to help Fox. It seems like he is trying to punish his enemies and help his friends by using the U.S. Justice Department.”
The full Jane Mayer-Andrea Mitchell interview is available here but the relevant clip is below
Other startling revelations of the obscene Trump-Fox News relationship chronicled in Jane Mayer’s blockbuster piece include;
Fox News apparently knew about the Stormy Daniels story before the 2016 elections but then owner Rupert Murdoch ordered Fox News’ staff to kill it.(not to air it)
Remember the infamous Megyn Kelly clash with Trump during the first Republican presidential debate? Well according to Mayer, Fox News’ Roger Ailes(since deceased) tipped off Trump a day before that he was going to be asked a tough question by Kelly. This of course means Trump’s crude response to Kelly(“blood coming out of….everywhere”) may have been rehearsed. It may not have been a spur of the moment response like we all have assumed it was
To date Fox News has had 44 interviews with President Trump while all the other networks combined have had a total of about 10 with CNN getting zero.
The former President of Fox News, Bill Shine, is now Trump’s Communications Director
Bottom line folks, as Yours Truly argued in a previous post, time has come for some serious questions to be asked/answered about this obscene Trump-Fox News relationship. As Jane Mayer correctly sums it, “It raises questions that are troubling about our democracy when the number one rated cable news show appears many times to be an arm of the White House.” As we approach the 2020 elections, there needs to be bipartisan condemnation of this obscene Trump-Fox News relationship as it is antithetical to democratic norms. Simply put, any self-respecting democratic society can not have a major news network controlled by one candidate, especially as here, where that one candidate is already the President, equipped with the tremendous electoral advantages of incumbency.
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