Thursday night, Sean Hannity told Donald Trump,”journalism is dead,” then went on to prove it in a lengthy interview that amounted to little more than propaganda. The interview aired on Fox News last night, spent a great deal of time driving home two major bullet points:
- Donald Trump is very popular
- Any evidence to the contrary comes from the “liars” of the “dishonest media”
Obviously, this has been a major ongoing theme for Donald Trump, and Fox News (clearly, the sole exception to the rule) has willingly given him a pulpit, in which to bully journalists and news networks. So it seemed ironic, or at least a case of textbook projection, when Hannity repeatedly used the word “collusion” when speaking of some of his network’s competitors.
Of course Trump agreed, wholeheartedly.
It’s easy to view Trump’s obsession with his popularity and crowd size as a symptom of rampant narcissism, but as patterns emerge, the themes begin to come into focus. His words and actions suggest that Donald Trump is positioning Fox News to be the official news agency of the U.S. government.
He praises Fox at every turn, and Fox for its part, is providing him with the platform to redirect every unflattering story that’s being reported about him. But there seems to be more to it than that: Earlier in the week, Bill O’Reilly aired a segment calling for “federal intervention” in Chicago. Almost immediately afterwards, Trump Tweeted a threat to “send in the Feds.”
On first glance, it looked like Trump having a knee-jerk reaction to a news story he just watched on television. It’s easy to imagine him being all anger-issues and limited attention spans, but Chicago has long been on Trump’s radar, and the timing of the incidents seem less coincidental, than orchestrated. And it serves to burnish both parties credentials: Fox and O’Reilly for being so prescient, and makes Trump look like a man of action to his followers, many of whom undoubtedly never miss The O’Reilly Factor.
Many of us fail to acknowledge Trump’s ability to be subtle, as his public persona is so aggressive and tactless. But look at what he says, when speaking about the infamous “Barron Tweet” that cost SNL writer Katie Rich her job:
It’s a failing show, and Alec Baldwin’s a disaster, but for NBC to attack my 10-year-old son is a disgrace.
NBC, of course, had no connection to the joke, and took immediate steps to punish Rich. But it’s more useful to the narrative for NBC to be responsible and it’s working. The Trump faithful now include CNN, the New York Times and NBC as “fake news”–even when the fake news is nothing more than verbatim reporting of his administration’s words and actions.
There’s a YouTube video below, if you can tolerate it. If not, besides the dishonest media, it also turns out that waterboarding is awesome because it works, but it’s not that big a deal.Click here for reuse options!
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