For many years, Fox News’ ratings had been blowing competitors like CNN completely out of the water. So, it’s no surprise that CNN’s Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter would target them with accusations of ‘state-run media’ in the Trump-era. During Sunday’s edition of the show, Stelter equated the relationship between Trump and Fox News as a twisted “love story.” He even tried to re-write history by arguing there had “never” been anything like it in American Politics, which was not true.
Stelter began his whining by asking his audience: “Fox and Trump, Trump and Fox. You know they're close. But do you realize just how close?” He then declared, “[T]his kind of relationship has never existed between a U.S. president and a TV network. It. Is. Unprecedented.” “It's sort of a love story, so let me count the ways,” he mocked. But was it really “unprecedented”? No, Obama had many liberal media suitors trying to be his Fox News.
“First of all, the President loves Fox. He loves what he hears on Fox. He promotes the network and trashes its rivals,” Stelter huffed. But as with what usually happens when he cries about Trump’s criticism of the press, Stelter overlooked Obama’s efforts to expel Fox News from the White House press pool and how he refused to give them interviews.
The CNN host complained about Fox News getting most of the interviews with the President. He asserted that they had done the math and found he did an interview roughly every 20 days. “Now, some of these are not really interviews at all, they are more like chats, designed to promote his presidency,” he insisted. It’s hypocritical for Stelter to slam Fox News for “softball” interviews when many of Obama’s were the same way.
Stelter then set his sights on his favorite Fox News host to attack: Sean Hannity. “He defends Trump, bashes the media, turns a blind-eye to Trump world scandals,” he moaned. “And that's just on the air. When Hannity is off the air, he gossips with Trump and gives advice about who to hire.”
With righteous indignation, Stelter said he wanted to “underscore how weird this is.” “No TV host has ever had this kind of relationship with a U.S. president before,” he declared. Stelter even decried the handful of Fox News people Trump had hired and suggested that Fox News was “propp[ing] up” the Trump presidency as if without them it would collapse.
Again, this was totally false. He claimed this kind of relationship was “weird” but he willingly misled his audience and omitted how Obama harvested a crop of journalists to serve in his administration over his eight years. As the Media Research Center had tracked during the Obama-era, his revolving door saw at least 30 liberal journalists pass through.
Stelter downplayed Obama’s close friendships with journalists by saying he only had “big fans on MSNBC.” He also seized onto a statement from an anonymous source that suggested Hannity was Trump’s “shadow chief of staff.” By doing this he dismissed Obama’s meetings with MSNBC hosts Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann. And there was no mention of Obama’s close personal friendship with CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King.
Clearly perturbed, Stelter railed against Fox News co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle for daring to date Donald Trump Jr:
[D]oesn’t this radically affect her day job? How can any of her colleagues criticize Trump when the President's son's girlfriend is sitting right there at the table? Doesn't this complicate the entire network's coverage of the Trump family?
While Stelter tried to make their dating sound out of the ordinary, the liberal media was actually married into the Obama administration.
According to The Washington Post, “CNN’s deputy Washington bureau chief, Virginia Moseley, is married to Tom Nides,” who was Hillary Clinton’s deputy secretary of state. ABC reporter Claire Shipman was actually married to then-White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, so where were the concerns about all of ABC being tainted by their marriage? There’s a lot more where those came from.
These kinds of misleading assertions by CNN have grown more common since President Trump had taken office. It proves their mantra of “facts first” is a farce. If a media outlet had never been that friendly to a president, then how did CNN get the nickname of “Clinton News Network”? This is CNN.
The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:
July 8, 2018
11:29:21 AM Eastern
BRIAN STELTER: Fox and Trump, Trump and Fox. You know they're close. But do you realize just how close? This kind of relationship has never existed between a U.S. president and a TV network. It. Is. Unprecedented. It's sort of a love story, so let me count the ways.
First of all, the President loves Fox. He loves what he hears on Fox. He promotes the network and trashes its rivals. Telling people when and where to tune in. A president has never endorsed a network like this before. Trump watches Fox and tweets about it and watches some more. Sometimes he hears valuable information but other times he hears terrible misinformation. Sometimes he then spreads it in interviews on Fox and around and around we go.
Since becoming president, Trump has been interviewed on fox every 20 days on average. Now, some of these are not really interviews at all, they are more like chats, designed to promote his presidency.
STELTER: So, let's take a closer look at this relationship. You can see how this back scratching benefits both sides. Trump benefits from Fox's friendly segments and softball questions and then Fox benefits from Trump's preferential treatment and constant promos. If you plug Trump, he might plug your book or your show or you might attack your competitors. Or he might do both.
STELTER: Oh, yeah, Sean Hannity. He defends Trump, bashes the media, turns a blind-eye to Trump world scandals, and gives his guests free rein to calling for the jailing of Trump's opponents. And that's just on the air. When Hannity is off the air, he gossips with Trump and gives advice about who to hire. So, let's just underscore how weird this is. No TV host has ever had this kind of relationship with a U.S. president before. And to take it a step further, no network has ever propped up a president quite like this before.
Sure, Obama had big fans on MSNBC, but there wasn't this kind of constant coordination. No one ever thought Keith Olbermann was Obama's “shadow chief of staff” but that's how some Trump advisers describe Hannity. This is new and it's weird and we shouldn't get used to it. There's been almost a merger between a culture war TV station and a culture war president.
STELTER: Fox does have reporters who try their best, but the network is defined by its cheerleaders like Jesse Waters who dined with Trump at the White House earlier this year and got an autograph. Or his co-host on The Five, Kimberly Guilfoyle who is dating the newly-divorced Donald Trump Jr. Look, they seem to be a cute couple, and I love a good love story. But doesn’t this radically affect her day job? How can any of her colleagues criticize Trump when the President's son's girlfriend is sitting right there at the table? Doesn't this complicate the entire network's coverage of the Trump family? I've got to ask.