This One Weird Trick to Sedate Donald Trump Just Created a Whole New Problem
Buried within a new New York magazine story detailing the increasingly codependent relationship between Sean Hannity and President Trump is a telling anecdote regarding Trump’s relationship with his favorite show, Fox & Friends. According to Olivia Nuzzi’s reporting, the president often kept his staff on edge while he fired off angry tweets in response to unfavorable coverage on CNN’s New Day and MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Apparently Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer, two of the Trump administration’s most hapless former aides, got the bright idea to transition Trump to a viewing schedule that consisted of nothing but Fox & Friends under the guise that the positive coverage would keep the boss happy and, in turn, make their jobs easier. That brilliant plan ended up blowing up in their faces. From New York:
Like all other ideas, this had the highest chance of implementation if Trump believed he’d thought of it on his own. Priebus and Spicer worked talking points about the network’s high ratings and importance to his base of supporters into conversation until, eventually, it stuck, so that the president’s television consumption is today what the current White House official called “mainly a complete dosage of Fox.” The former official added, “Trump’s someone who loves praise more than he likes hate-watching Morning Joe.”
Instead of rage-tweeting reports critical of his administration, the president instead started rage-tweeting thinly sourced Fox & Friends commentary supporting his nativist agenda or placing blame on Russian election meddling on the Obama administration, thus starting a whole new set of fires for his already embattled staff to put out.
“Sometimes on Fox, a lot of stories are embellished, and they don’t necessarily cover the big news stories of the day,” a current Trump aide told New York. “When they cover the smaller stories, if that gets the president riled up, then that becomes an issue. Whenever he tweets, all of us do a mad dash or mad scramble to find out as much information about that random topic as possible. We’re used to it in a lot of ways, so it’s part of our morning routine.”
And there you have one of Trump’s own staffers acknowledging that the pro-Trump news network essentially only covers frivolous lies. Everything is incredibly stupid.