Donald Trump will not debate the Democratic party’s nominee for the presidency. He said as much yesterday with the following tweet:
“Democrats just blocked @FoxNews from holding a debate. Good, then I think I’ll do the same thing with the Fake News Networks and the Radical Left Democrats in the General Election debates!”
Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez decided March 6 that Fox News would neither host nor televise his party’s presidential primary debates.
He made that move following the publication of Jane Mayer’s must-read “Trump TV” epic in the New Yorker, a piece that has rich details about the symbiotic ties between the president and his Fox propaganda arm.
Trump, who spends most of his day watching TV, is simply lost with Fox. It’s all that he’s got, said a former Fox host.
Rupert Murdoch’s network is Trump’s force multiplier, according to Nicole Hemmer, author of “Messengers of the Right.” She told Mayer that for both Fox and Trump, fear is a business strategy that keeps people watching.
Since the death of former chief Roger Ailes, who at least paid lip service to being “fair and balanced,” and Trump's election, Fox has jettisoned all restraint and tossed the basic tenets of journalism out the window.
“Fox & Friends,” which Ailes launched as a “fun show” and a way for him to “spout off,” provides the president with talking points of the day.
Veteran GOP lobbyist Charlie Black told Mayer, “Trump gets up and watches Fox & Friends and thinks these are his friends. He thinks anything on Fox is friendly. But the problem he gets are unvetted ideas.”
Ignoring counsel and belittling White House advisers, Trump turns to Fox for guidance. Media Matters counts more than 200 cases since August 2018, of Trump posting Fox items to his 58M Twitter followers.
The network’s prime-time line-up has become even more one-sided with superstar Sean Hannity appearing at Trump rallies, phoning in advice and conducting seven one-on-one interviews with Trump.
Overall, Fox has interviewed the president 44 times compared to a combined ten for CBS, NBC and ABC. CNN has not had an interview with the president
Fox has become Trump’s “safe space,” according to Mayer.
Jerry Taylor, co-founder of the Niskanen Center moderate think tank in DC, said to Mayer, “In a hypothetical world, without Fox News, if president Trump were to be hit hard by the Mueller report, it would be the end of him.
“But, with Fox News covering his back with the Republican base, he has a fighting chance. because he has something no other president in American history has ever had at his disposal—a servile propaganda operation.”
If Perez sticks to his guns, Trump, who views himself as the “most harassed” president in US history will dodge debating a Democratic challenger.
He’ll tell his base there’s no way he would treated fairly by appearing in a debate sponsored by one of the “enemies of the people.”
Perez overplayed his hand and provided Trump with an “out.”
Rather than going head-to-head with an aggressive Democrat, who would expose just how ill-informed the president is about national and international affairs, Trump will seek refuge on the “Most Watched, Most Trusted” network.
His adoring fans will love it and Fox ratings will soar.