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Trump’s merger with Fox News.

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THE BIG INVESTIGATIONS BEGIN.

This morning, House Judiciary Democrats launched a widespread investigation into “obstruction of justice, corruption, and abuse of power” by sending document demands to “81 agencies, individuals and other entities” connected to President Trump. These include the Trump campaign, Trump Organization, White House, DOJ, F.B.I., NRA, and presidential inaugural committee. Key names include Donald Trump, Jr., Eric Trump, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Sean Spicer, Jeff Sessions, Carter Page, and more.

Elections have consequences. The consequence of the 2018 midterms: Accountability for Trump’s #CultureOfCorruption.

TRUMP’S MERGER WITH FOX NEWS.

Anyone can tell that Fox News is the de facto media arm of Trump and the Republican Party. Now, the receipts are in. A new article from the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer takes a deep dive into the disturbing relationship between the Trump White House and the conservative news empire.

The article begins by asking a question: “Fox News has always been partisan. But has it become propaganda?” Then, it makes a damning case that the answer is yes:

  • Trump has made a sport out of marginalizing other media networks, all to Fox’s advantage. He has granted Fox 44 interviews, 7 of which were with his buddy Sean Hannity. He has given 10 to the other three main networks combined and zero to CNN.
  • Trump’s obsession with discrediting CNN reporter Jim Acosta is a part of this strategy.
  • White House Communications Director Bill Shine is a former Hannity producer who led Fox programming for more than a decade. Shine is still being paid millions of dollars a year by Fox and got the White House job thanks to Sean Hannity.
  • Rupert Murdoch wanted a President Trump. Case in point: Fox had the story of Trump’s hush money payments to Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. When the reporter pitched the story to the head of FoxNews.com, she was allegedly told, “Good reporting, kiddo. But Rupert wants Donald Trump to win. So just let it go.
  • Fox has been Trump’s biggest champion in his campaign to discredit the Mueller probe.
  • Fox parrots Trump’s immigration lies. Fox news hosts pandered to Trump and his base, using the word “invasion” to describe the migrant caravan 33 times in the 30 days leading up to the 2018 midterms.
  • It’s a reciprocal relationship. A few months before the Department of Justice intervened to stop the AT&T and Time Warner merger (which would have hurt Fox and helped CNN), Trump reportedly called Gary Cohn and John Kelly into the Oval and said, “I’ve been telling Cohn to get this lawsuit filed and nothing’s happened. I’ve mentioned it fifty times…I want that deal blocked!”
  • The DOJ then filed a suit to block the merger. Trump publicly claimed that he wouldn’t get involved at all.
  • Trump has reneged on legislative compromises because of negative commentary he’s heard on Fox.

There are too many clear examples of coordination to count. One quote in particular captures the gross reality that Fox is at this point nearly a state media organization:

“As the President has been beset by scandals, congressional hearings, and even talk of impeachment, Fox has been both his shield and his sword.”