Wherever Donald Trump goes he seems to leave the smoldering ashes of bridges behind him. Yet the lure of cash and the greed of his adversaries often results in awkward reconciliations. For instance, earlier this year NBC cut ties to Trump due to his “derogatory statements” about immigrants, which NBC said was contrary to their values. Well, they just announced that he will be the host of the November 7th episode of Saturday Night Live. Even Shepard Smith of Fox News couldn’t resist skewering NBC’s hypocrisy (video below):
“NBC, of course, ended its relationship with Trump earlier this year because he said Mexican immigrants are rapists and that they bring drugs and crime, and NBC and everything Comcast did not want to be associated with Donald Trump. […] No more Trump on NBC. It’s what he said, no more Trump. So what’s he doing? He’s going back to NBC. Good job. Nice job, NBC. You made a stand. You stood for your values.”
That’s about as close as Fox News gets to justifiable righteous indignation. And while Smith deservedly thwacks NBC for so limply abandoning their values, he is missing the plank in his own eye. Fox News, of course, has been engaged in a bitter feud with Trump that has resulted in banning and boycotts. Yet the ruffled feathers always seem to get straightened out before Fox has lost much ratings-driven revenue. The most recent ruckus peaked with Trump saying that he would not be going on Fox for the foreseeable future. That was followed by an announcement that Trump would meet (again) with Fox CEO Roger Ailes.
As it turns out, that meeting never took place, but Trump has nevertheless resumed his position as the most featured presidential candidate on the network (or any network). Just this week Trump’s Fox News date book includes Sean Hannity, Fox & Friends, Your World with Neil Cavuto, MediaBuzz, Special Report with Bret Baier, Bill O’Reilly, and Fox News Sunday. That’s seven shows in seven days. No other candidate even comes close.
The problem arising from this, aside from the searing pain of having Donald Trump’s mug plastered across the nation’s TVs in an endless loop, is that Fox has a vested interest in keeping Trump’s campaign viable. They are clearly afraid of losing his ability to draw reality show addicted viewers. That’s why they scramble to patch up their differences every time they erupt. When has Fox ever done that for any other candidate? And there have been several who have articulated sharp complaints about Fox, but it doesn’t warrant them any face time with Ailes.
So the prospect of Trump fading from the scene has to be frightening to the bean counters at Fox. Will that cause them to alter coverage in order to keep him around? Would they hype his campaign or fudge their polls? Fox has shown in the past that their top priority is ratings and profits. It’s why they signed hot commodities like Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, and fired them when they became embarrassments.
The problem is that, with Fox’s reputation, it’s impossible to have any confidence that they wouldn’t go to artificially extreme measures to extend Trump’s campaign. And their eagerness to meet with him every time he pouts about some imagined slight is pretty good evidence that they are determined to keep him around for their own benefit.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.