There is a stench of desperation in seeing a president so brazenly genuflecting to a sycophantic “news” enterprise. Especially one that serves as his personal State TV mouthpiece. But that’s what has transpired between Donald Trump and Fox News. It’s gotten to the point where he appears to be acting more like the president of Fox News PR and Marketing than of the United States. Just last week he posted ten videos of Fox programs touting his eminence.
Trump’s devotion to Fox News is so all-consuming that it takes up more than half of his Twitter feed. He tweets more about Fox News than about “witch hunts,” although many of his tweets combine both of those subjects thanks to Fox’s own obsession over that particular conspiracy rant. But on Tuesday Trump took the additional step of bragging on Fox’s behalf about their ratings:
The Fake News Media has lost tremendous credibility with its corrupt coverage of the illegal Democrat Witch Hunt of your all time favorite duly elected President, me! T.V. ratings of CNN & MSNBC tanked last night after seeing the Mueller Report statement. @FoxNews up BIG!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 27, 2019
There’s a lot to unpack here. First of all, Trump already declared that the media has lost its credibility many times, going back nearly two years. Secondly, the Mueller investigation that he calls a “witch hunt” has produced dozens of indictments and seven convictions, so far. And with the release of the Barr Letter (allegedly summarizing the Mueller Report), Trump even praised special counsel Robert Mueller as “honorable.” Thirdly – well, we don’t really need to go into the absurdity of Trump’s self characterization as “your all time favorite duly elected President, me!” His historically low approval polling settles that question.
Finally, Trump leaped into the TV marketing and promotions game by hyping what he thinks are good numbers for Fox News. It needs to be noted that that is NOT his job! But he persists in boasting as if Fox’s performance reflects on him personally, which in many ways it does. But his analysis is pitifully ignorant. His assertion that the Mueller news affected the ratings race is based solely on the steam emanating from the various orifices in his head (and perhaps other body parts as well). But more importantly, Mueller has been in the news all month and the ratings over the course of more than just the one day that Trump is focused on tell a completely different story.
For the month of March so far, Rachel Maddow has beaten her competition, Sean Hannity, in the all-important advertising demographic of 25-54 year olds. And in total audience they are separated by a miniscule fifty thousand viewers, with both coming just short of three million on average per night. Longer term, though, Maddow has crushed Hannity for the past four months straight.
So Trump is going out of his way to celebrate the ratings on a single night that has no bearing on the overall ratings picture. It’s what losers in the media do when they haven’t got a real story of success to pitch. And Trump is going all out to help his pals at Fox. He has scheduled his first post-Barr Letter interview for Hannity’s program Wednesday night. Although it’s a stretch to call these love fests interviews since they mainly consist of Hannity feeding Trump narratives he can brag (and lie) about. Undoubtedly the faithfull MAGA cultists will tune in for more of their regularly scheduled propaganda. But the real test will come in the days and weeks following these staged, reality TV style events.And if the past four months is any indicator, we won’t be seeing any more of these Trump pumps on his Twitter feed.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.