How Fox News and President Trump Lost Control to Their Base | NYT Exclusive

How Fox News and President Trump Lost Control to Their Base | NYT Exclusive

“Promises made.
Promises kept.” This is the night
Fox crossed the line between where
the network ends and President Trump begins. And I’m going to tell you
how we got here. “America, you have the power. Tomorrow, you can
shock the world again.” “Hello everyone. We are out
here live on Facebook at President Trump’s rally
in Cape Girardeau.” This is not just any rally. It’s the night before
a historic midterm election. Control of Congress, the
future of Trump’s presidency, it’s all on the line. Missouri is a
key battleground. And team Trump is
pulling out all the stops to fire up the base. This is the birthplace, the hometown
of Rush Limbaugh. There’s no more sacred ground
in conservative media. “What an honor.
This is so exciting! I have been watching
Trump rallies” — Lo and behold,
word goes out, Sean Hannity will be
among the presenters. Well, that would
be astonishing. Mind you, this is
the top person in all of cable news —
Fox News’s PR department, their phones are
ringing off the hook. Sean Hannity is supposed to
be like an opinion columnist. Fox allows him to
take great liberty, but he still has
to, at least, abide by some measure
of news standards. Talent for a news
organization should not be openly campaigning
with a candidate. It erases any line between
the news organization and the campaign. Hannity completely denies it,
tweets out: “I will not be on stage
campaigning with the president.” He says he’s just covering
the final rally for his show. “Sean Hannity, come
on up, Sean Hannity.” That one small step
for Sean Hannity would be a giant step
for the network that pledged to make the
news “fair and balanced.” So, how did we get
to this moment? It all started with an
Australian media mogul who wanted to take
on the world. Rupert Murdoch, from the
minute he steps ashore in the United States
in the ’70s, is all about upending the
elitist news environment. He wants to blow up the
entire media system here. “With a publishing empire in New York alone,
that includes The Post, New York Magazine,
Village Voice.” Murdoch’s expanding his
empire in the United States just as a new right-wing
radio star enters the scene. “Rush Limbaugh, talent
on loan from God.” Rush Limbaugh is a
national hit — he is huge. “That’s more like it!” Limbaugh is
a game changer for the conservative base. But what Limbaugh doesn’t
have is the gravitas of a news operation. Murdoch sees a
big opportunity and he finds the perfect accomplice. “I’m here with Roger Ailes, who has been called
the Ernest Hemingway of campaign advisers.” Roger Ailes was in
the Nixon White House. He knows Watergate happens
because The Washington Post, this beacon of credibility,
this mainstream news organization, takes down
a president. Ailes and Murdoch want that kind of power. They start in 1996. The two men make their
pitch to the base. “So, what will our
Fox News be? It will be different and it will be fair, because it has to be. Because a very large
audience is begging it to be.” “On the record.
Fair and balanced.” There was a
brilliance to it. We are fair and balanced
because the others aren’t. This makes us different. It’s a bullhorn, not a
dog whistle, to those people who have felt left out by
the news conversation. This is for me. For a long time, they’re struggling
to get any notice. And then, they get a gift: the Monica Lewinsky scandal. It’s a salacious story
tailor-made for Fox. “Get ready with your clicker
to turn your volume up.” It gripped the base and
starts to solidify their audience. “The president’s on trial. Our team will
keep you informed.” And everything flows
from there. “On the ground
in Lower Manhattan.” “Strike happened shortly
after dark.” They established
their news division. “Are American policies too
strict or not strict enough?” And that news
division gave heft to their commentariat. — “Since the April
deadly shooting” “They’re gonna go
after the guns.” “Yes.” Ailes also newsified
his commentators. “Those who want reparations
for slavery are misguided.” “Should people who illegally
sneak into this country be given a free ride?” Sean Hannity, he’s not just
in a studio in a Lacoste shirt talking to a microphone. It’s a news desk. It has flashing headlines. It’s got all the
accoutrements of news. “We can get you to
jump in and listen to Hillary.” For many years, it was
fair and balanced. “So, let me go back to the
single mother issue here.” Hannity would square off
against a liberal named Alan Colmes. “They hate the
nuclear family.” “Liberals hate the
nuclear family?” “Let him, let her finish
her point.” “Yeah, would you
stop interrupting? I’m trying to make
a point here.” “I lost my head.” But let’s face it, he got his butt kicked
on almost every debate. It was fair and balanced
on the surface. But there was a lot more at play
underneath it that tilted the scales to the right. It’s the secret
of their success. “This is a Fox News alert.” We’re a news organization
like anybody else. And we’re going to tell
you those other news organizations are wrong. They’re lying to you. “These people are
not journalists. These are not
news channels. What you just saw is nothing
but left-wing propaganda.” “This was a retweet” —
“All right, whatever it is.” “And it came from sources” —
“I told you whatever it is, you shouldn’t tweet, ever!” One thing you
have to do if you want to run for president
as a Republican, it is believed
you must visit Rupert Murdoch at
the Fox headquarters in Midtown Manhattan. You have to inform
him of your plans. So, Trump informs Rupert that
he is running for president. And Rupert is eating soup. And as we hear this story, he doesn’t even look
up from his soup. Rupert is not ready to buy
into the idea of a Trump presidential run, let
alone, a Trump presidency. Ailes has the same reaction. And the sentiment comes
through loud and clear. Trump’s getting
pounded on Fox. “Loser?” “Loser is Trump,
who seems to think this campaign is about him.” “It is simply bad
anti-terror policy to overreact and prohibit
Muslims, even if you could, which you can’t!” “I find him offensive.” “I don’t think you’re a
first-time offender making a personal crack
at a woman.” “I just think that belief
in Trump is misplaced.” It would drive Trump crazy. And he would call Ailes and
yell and it gets to the point where Trump’s own staff
has to try to keep him away from the television. And then there’s the bitter
proxy war with Megyn Kelly. It begins on the
national debate stage. “You’ve called women you
don’t like fat pigs, dogs.” Trump is furious. “You know, you could see
there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming
out of her, wherever.” “This afternoon, Fox chief
Roger Ailes demanding Trump apologize for his
latest Twitter tirade against host Megyn Kelly.” What it settles into is this
really interesting power struggle, because Ailes doesn’t take
orders from candidates. “Before we get to the issues, let’s address the elephant
not in the room tonight.” Trump doesn’t take
orders from anybody. “Donald Trump has chosen
not to attend this evening’s presidential debate.” They both need each other. Trump needs
the Fox audience. Fox needs Trump’s ratings. So, there’s just this battle
for control of effectively, really the party. “Donald Trump is
the front-runner.” Thirty seven percent to
Kasich’s 34.” “Trump is leading in Idaho.” “All my money on Trump.” Fox might have been hard on
Trump, but it didn’t matter. The base loves him. It’s looking like
Trump’s probably on his way to becoming
the Republican nominee. “We rarely see black chips
here at this table.” Trump isn’t a Murdoch kind of
guy in terms of temperament, in terms of policy. But Murdoch and Ailes
have to make a choice: Get behind Trump
or risk losing their base and
their ratings. “This is the great wall of
Trump, I guess? I don’t know.” In March 2016, Murdoch sends a signal: He’s ready
to get behind Trump. He tweets out the
Republican Party would be quote,
mad not to unify. Over the course
of several weeks, you see the different
parts of the Murdoch empire get behind Trump. “So, big news today is
Donald Trump has agreed to sit down
with yours truly.” The big moment
comes when Megyn Kelly goes to Trump Tower
to make peace. Trump visits Ailes for lunch at the Fox headquarters
and that’s another breaking of the bread
the truce is complete. “Roger Ailes, the architect
of the Fox News Network” — But a few months later,
literally as Trump’s cinching the nomination, Ailes is ousted over sexual
harassment allegations. “Rupert Murdoch,
who hired Ailes” — Murdoch takes the helm. He’s back
in the newsroom. He’s part of the action. It’s just a wild, fun ride. Through most of the summer, everyone, including
Trump, still thinks that Clinton’s
probably going to win. Rupert Murdoch and
Rupert Murdoch’s sons, James and Lachlan, all
believe the true future of the network is with a
Megyn Kelly. Someone who can
be Trump critical — “Mr. Trump is off base” — and can appeal to sort of
moderate centrist, suburban Republican women and
ideally, some independents. They need to grow. “Hillary Clinton has
called Donald Trump to concede the race.” Trump winning starts to change
this calculus dramatically. And we start to see a shift
in Fox’s primetime lineup. “Donald Trump’s son” —
Greta Van Susteren? Gone. “He’s right here to
go on the record.” “I have decided to
pursue a new challenge.” Megyn Kelly, she lands
a big job at NBC. Gone. Bill O’Reilly’s
also forced out over sexual
harassment allegations. Suddenly, their primetime
is far more pro-Trump than it ever was
under Ailes. The new faces? The hard-right commentator
Tucker Carlson. “Admit the world’s poor
they tell us, even if it makes our own
country poorer, and dirtier and more divided.” And the conservative radio
star Laura Ingraham. “A conservative Republican
like Donald Trump to remind us what it
was all about, freedom.” “What the mainstream media
will never tell you.” Anchoring it all
is Sean Hannity. Ailes used to tell me that
Hannity’s show was segmented, that its appeal was limited
to a shrinking hardcore base. But it turned out
this wrong. “That I would be the bridge
between two generations of the Fox News channel. This is the next generation.” Trump is ratings gold. His rise to power turned Hannity into
Fox’s biggest star. And the affection was mutual. “One of the reasons I’m
supporting Donald Trump this year is number one,
he’s going to” — Weeks after Ailes was
forced out, Hannity actually appeared in
a video for the Trump campaign. There was a stern
reprimand from Fox, but it was an
early sign that times were changing. With a freewheeling Murdoch now running the show and
Trump in the White House, “fair and balanced” gets
lost in the ratings chase. The network actually
drops the slogan eventually — there’s virtually no limit on how far
Hannity can go. “As I have been warning, Mueller is out to
get the President, and it appears at any cost. Here’s what happened.” Fox and Trump are now both
vying for the base’s affection, but the base
overwhelmingly only wants Trump and Trump cheerleading. “We’ve been talking about
for about a week now, blanketed in red,
white and blue” — The feedback loop
is just amazing. It becomes an
echo chamber. If you ever see
daylight between them, it’s because one of
them isn’t properly giving the base what
it wants to see. “Do not fall for
it, Mr. President.” “We’re already on the
right track, Mr. President.” “Mr. President, I understand the
pressure that you are under from every side. But the wall at
our southern border is a promise that you
made, ran on, got elected on and must keep.” “From Cape Girardeau, Mo., it is our election eve edition.” Which brings us back to
the rally in Missouri, on the eve of the midterms. Remember, Hannity claimed he
would just be covering the rally for his show. “Let me describe the scene
here if I can for everybody. They’re, like, firing
out hats and T-shirts. I mean, this is, literally,
like a rock concert.” To Fox News it should
be a political event. It’s not a rock concert. “There never has been
anybody like him. I was speaking to
Sean Hannity backstage. Do we love Sean,
by the way?” But the problem is, Sean Hannity is in the band
and he’s about to go up there and play lead guitar. Here we go — being on stage
is just a whole other level of involvement. It’s breaking down that last
little bit of independence that Fox says it expects
from even its opinion hosts. “By the way, all those
people in the back are fake news.” It has always been part of Fox’s m.o. to attack
the rest of the media as biased. But doing it from a stage
with the press in the building, including
his own Fox colleagues — he’s pointing at them, among
others, saying “fake news.” That was a big deal. This moment
is a joint play to the base. Now, they’re the real leader
of the party. “So, anyway. You’re right. U.S.A.” After much uproar, Fox says they don’t condone
anyone taking the stage. So, they don’t name the
people who took the stage and that’s all. The tepid response
is a reflection of where Fox stands right now. It still has real news
and real journalists. So, they need to signal
they’re not officially approving what Hannity did,
but they will only go so far. The opinion hosts
are still the ones plugging into the Trump base,
drawing the ratings and leading the attack against
the so-called fake news. “By the way their ratings dropped
through the floor last night” — With a new Murdoch taking
the reins at Fox News, there’s speculation
this dynamic might change. But today, Trump
and the network are as friendly as ever. “And our friends, Tucker, Sean, Laura — through
the roof last night.” With 2020 coming into view, and both Trump and Fox
working to feed the base, how much closer can they get?

100 thoughts on “How Fox News and President Trump Lost Control to Their Base | NYT Exclusive

  1. This is BS……..The Democrats have 20 Networks that support them and a propagandist networks . NPR, CNN, MSNBC, Bloomberg, NYT and on & on & on…….

  2. The bravado and bias of the New York Times, Washington Post and others basically created Fox News. They made this bed. They can rot in it.

  3. Wait until November 2020 when trump and Fox News lose big time, including losing BOTH the Senate and House.

  4. Just think, you could have had an effect as a legitimate news organization, just like the washington post. But you decided putting paywalls in front of your articles was more important.

  5. The Republican voters gained control and get to pick their politicians.
    The Democrats don't need to worry about that. The Democratic leadership riggs the primaries. And their base gets no say.

  6. interestingly a socialist was the original screaming politician.

    lenin claimed to speak for the common people, the bolsheviks and was against the elitists, the mensheviks. if you argued against lenin you were instantly labeled an enemy. even if lenins actions made things worse – it was the fault of his enemies who were against him, he never admitted quilt. he was against big government and urged people to revolution, until he got power, then suddenly all anti-lenin actions were labeled unpatriotic. big rallies with simple words. a hammer and sickle were symbols of simple peasants, todays simple peasants wear baseball caps….

  7. Never understood how a news channel owned by a migrant could be so successful at rallying people who hate migrants.
    Fox viewers truly are a special kind of stupid.

  8. How about how the downfall of the Democratic Party. Take every bad claim every made about the Trump administration and you'll find it's actually true of the Democratic party. Lies, Corruption and even colluding with Russian's to frame Trump of Russian collusion. You can keep denying it all you want. The real investigation is just getting started. What ya going do when real indictments come out and Democrats are convicted in a real court of law and going to prison. They knew if Trump won the election, they would be found out and eventually go to prison. Why you think they tried so hard to take him down?

  9. You have, CNN, NBC, CBS, MSNBC spewing Trump hate 24/7 run by the Democrats, the right has one station Fox , one station where the right can hear positive news about Trump

  10. you people are clueless Donald Trump 2020. He's the only American standing on the stage. No matter what you think without borders there's no USA. Apparently there's communist in our government If you say no. How is it that all our manufacturing US dollars and nuclear weapons have been siphoned off to the Communist Chinese. Think about that. Our military manufacturing backbone is now under communist control. 20% of US uranium owned by Russia. Thanks Hillary Obama Bernie. Nancy Pelosi. Maxine. and it's not about Fox's fair and balanced Garbage. It's about the Communist news network CNN and others like. it. Obviously their help and siphon our technology to communist. Since they never point this fact out. Glaring largely in everyone's faces. Especially the middle class they wonder why their jobs are now held by communist. It's undeniable



  13. This is funny…Trump and Fox lost control of…the American people. Do you not understand media and the government are not here to control us; they are hear to serve us. This is what happens when you let liberals control colleges. They turn out a bunch of ignorant soy boys who are good for nothing journalists. Snot-nosed elitists that will expect conservatives to save them once they manage to turn this country into Venezuela.

  14. How’s about the Democrats base ? Define that one for me . Thank God for Rupert . Oh by the way , your breaking news about Trump losing a billion dollars was recycled news but you already knew that , but you didn’t list yourselves as also being in the billion dollar losers club after purchasing and selling the Boston Globe . How many sub cancellations after the Mueller report came out for you guys ?

  15. “Fox sells out to Trump” Uhuh.. okay. Yeah. That’s been obvious since day 1.

    But exactly who did just the same? Hmm.. could be.. idk, the New York Times? CNN? NBC? This is nothing new, people. No one network has unbiased news, even though every network claims to. I’d say local tv news has less bias than those huge companies, honestly.

  16. The New York Times hear this, what you are doing is misleading GOD'S Children with your lies, and also to the nation and the world, every single one of you will be hold accountable for your lies, repent and stop the confusion now!!!!

  17. This is rich coming from the NYT. Totally a mouth piece for the DNC, the Left and Attack Trump agenda. Funniest thing I've heard in days.

    NYT is a Left Wing propaganda outlet.

  18. Google this one, "Fox News Canada, 'For Entertainment Purposes Only," in Canada, a "News" channel or website can be sued for lying. In the United States, they won a lawsuit that the 1st Amendment guarantees them that right.

  19. The year Rush Limbaugh started his radio show was also the same year the Fairness in Broadcasting rule was removed.
    The rest is….Propaganda.

  20. Come on CNN NBC and ABC have all been lying about collusion and obstruction. Fox News is just talking about the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth and it levels the playing field you guys are a bunch of crybabies so don't sit here and say house. Hannity is to blame for anything he should get a medal along with Tucker Carlson and the rest of the fox crew especially Judge Jeannie

  21. I hope they get a lot closer because Fox News is on the right side of History. And I think the New York Times is just going to sit there and cry because they didn't get a chance to get on stage because they're on the wrong side of History why didn't you go and do a story on Hillary and who got up on stage with her because not too many people want to stand with her especially now that she's going to be indicted on crimes to steal the presidency oh I got that from Fox News

  22. The New York Times is propaganda news. Wolves in sheep's clothing. 1.7k dislike this video. Big stats. I mean c'mon. I could see 100 or even 300 dislikes. But 1.7k!!! geez. Take a hint. Be real. Come down from your high horse and take off the clown shoes.

  23. Ya Amerika hergün sana beddua edeceğim Allah inşallah kabul eylesin amin YARABBİM Allah senı tek kelimeyle bu dünyadan sile inşallah ama mülümanlar zarar görmeden YARABBİM amin

  24. bycicleist pi delivery bub hand delivers time pedal after pedal all the way to the river bank, wall like structure with active shooters

  25. Leave it to York Times oh, they can't do things with the true so they've got to lie to everybody. New York Times is nothing but a liberal piece of crap propaganda Network.

  26. trump has lost the farmers $40 billion in soybean sales contracts Now Putin sells $20 billion in soybeans to commie china and Brazil sells $20 Billion in soybeans

    trump lost the ranchers $20 billion in pork sales contracts. Now Putin sells $20 billion in pork to South America & commie china.

    trump lost the confidence of police fire steel workers coal miners. Their jobs never came back.

    trump lost the confidence of ALL law enforcement professionals. trump repeatedly stated he believed our enemies and not our intelligence services

    trump lied about his 100% deficit $2 trillion socialist welfare for the rich tax cut and now the middle class is not receiving their tax returns.

    trump repeatedly chooses Russia & China over America. trump is a commie spy.

    trump & his daughter still mfgrs over 500 products in commie china and they are exempt from his China tariffs

    Back in 1992 trump said he would destroy the republican party. I BELIEVE HIM

  27. They are absolutely right The NYT, CNN, etc are all lairs and like good little commies they accuse everyone one else of exactly what they are doing. Hannity is the #1 rated show because he is telling the truth. Bloggers have more viewers than CNN now days, the NYT and there commie allies have told so many lies NO ONE believes any thing they say now. But watch out fellow Americans they are trying to arrange it so Illegals can vote and steel the 2020 election.

  28. Trump winning the election was not a shock, anyone could of beaten that lying Hillary and her rapi….husband !

  29. Rupert Murdoch owns vice and fox. I don't know what this individual wants? It would appear the downfall of the United States. We were doing fine destroying the country on our own. Thank you Australia

  30. Without Fox, Trump wouldn't have won all 3 branches of power, and put on two lifetime supreme Court judges. Thanks fox, you broke America

  31. Get the original Epic Prank Presidential seal before some government goon takes it away! Ultimate prank on Donald Trump! Presidential Seal with a two headed Russian Eagle holding money and golf clubs and a motto that says Trump Is a Puppet in spanish: 45 es un titiére.

  32. The New York Times is bias towards Trump.. Do you think the people of the world are stupid… Oh it's so easy to to critique all other news media… Even if your a news media station promoting this like the New York Times are … Really your going to push other news station are you kidding me best to keep your mouth shut…

  33. Essentially the nation is leaderless which is apparent by the vacuum in the WH in confronting this most recent tragic mass killing. Moscow Mitch is vacationing and is not inclined to do anything. What we’re left with now is the precarious situation of an un-indicted criminal in the oval office scot-free to continue his campaign of wreaking havoc and chaos on the nation.

  34. New York times , be honest with the American people for once. Change your name to "Pravda". The name of the former Soviet communist newspaper.

  35. You wish. Trump has grown bigger and stronger since 2016. He's got the Democrats who saw how crazy the left has become. Thank you socially unacceptables.

  36. New York Times is a soiled Democrats rag all washed up Democrats party of slavery KKK Jim Crow planed parenthood 30 million black babies killed facts history just look at there history trump 2020

  37. As I have watched my life-long Democratic Party lose their sanity over the years, I get closer and closer to leaving the party…or it left me. Yes, FOX is bad for siding with Republicans but CNN and all of the rest of the left news including now the NYT is far far worse and the main reason Trump was elected in the first place. The far lefts which have become the norm nowadays and it’s media will even go so far as to destroy this country as long as they can get the power back. FOX and Republicans at least stop short of that. Many Democrats have left their party and more leave it every day, mainly because of the left news and how you try to divide us by calling every little thing racist and how Democrats cannot handle defeat. I don’t want a one-party country. I don’t want our country to have only a one-party news media. That is a dictatorship. I was so proud of this country when we elected our first person of color for our president. And I thought too that finally the left media will stop trying to portray us as a racist country when we are NOT. Then I watched the left media and lefts make it so that we can probably never elect another person of color because no one could criticize Obama without being called a racist. We can’t have a president we can never criticize, but that’s how bad you people have become. Obama was the worst president I have known. He was the racist and he divided this country like I have never witnessed before. He also destroyed my part of the US and he is almost solely responsible for so many police being killed. Obama hates this country in my opinion and even tho I voted for him twice, because I ended up hating him as a president, I was called a racist. The truth is the people in this country voted for him as our president because of his character, or what we thought at the time, and we voted for Trump because he obviously loves this country, for all the reasons above, because of Hillary’s lack of character and many other reasons. But what did the left media say? They said it was a white lash which could not have been further from the truth. You people portray us to the world so wrongly. I could go on and on but I don’t have time right now. The NYT finally wrote about the real news and that was Trump condemning racism and hatred and then you may as well have retracted it because you’re so fake. The lefts and left news is almost solely responsible for the hatred in this country right now. We saw it long before Trump and now you finally have someone who is as big of a bully as you are and the American people love it that you finally have someone who will stand up to you and the insane far lefts who will say anything and do anything to get the power back because they are so power hungry. Get back to being fair and balanced yourselves before you condemn anyone else because as bad as Trump and Hannity is, the lefts and you are far worse

  38. Dude, what's with your coffee cup? Couldn't put it aside for a minute while you recorded? Small point, but incredibly unprofessional

  39. FOX NEWS is no longer a media, it's the oligarch's brainwashing machine ! these psychopaths are destroying not only america but the world !! YOUR CHILDREN HAVE NO FUTUR !

  40. 01. 「Left」⇒「Dark CIA」⇒ 「Computer」⇒ 「IBM= Damy BIOS」⇒ 「Intel= CPU+LAN」
    02.「Left」⇒「Dark CIA」⇒ 「Computer」⇒ 「IBM= BlackHole」(Dark Server) ⇒ L.A.
    03.「Left」⇒「Dark CIA」⇒ 「Dark Boss」⇒ 「Escape / F35-A」 ⇒ 「Now」= Mindanao ?
    04. 「Left」⇒「Dark CIA」⇒ 「Obama / Clinton」⇒「Escape」from USA ? ⇒ Germany ?

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