February 1, 2023

An awkwardly hostile confrontation just took place between Trump and a Fox News reporter

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Has the romance left the impassioned symbiotic relationship between President Trump and Fox News? His chilly response today to the network’s John Roberts indicates that there may be trouble in paradise.


After the favorite cable network of geriatric evangelicals helped propel Trump to the Presidency with its relentlessly positive coverage of the then-candidate — all while utilizing its patented blend of fear-mongering and conspiratorial innuendo — Fox News and Trump have been working together in lock step to promote the president’s agenda of fulfilling every item on the right-wing’s fantasy wish list.

Acting as Trump’s personal cheerleading squad has been extremely lucrative for Fox News and has helped the president keep his base on board with the slavish repetition of his every talking point.

There have been a few bumps along the way — with the forced resignations of both the network’s CEO Roger Ailes and its most prominent prime time anchor Bill O’Reilly over accusations of sexual harassment and the requirement to abandon all pretense of objectivity and truth in its reporting — but until recently the entire relationship between the President and the one cable outlet that he left out of his catch-all designation of accurately reporting media as “fake news” has been an extended honeymoon.

Signs of trouble in the relationship, however, have emerged in the past week, as the president discovered that Fox News still has a few rogue employees who think they were hired to be actual journalists rather than maliciously misinforming commentators slinging opinion as fact. In an unprecedented move, Trump attacked some Fox News hosts by name on Twitter for committing the sin of accurately reporting the news.

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The disillusionment on the network side has been growing as the most fervent of the Trump-parroting bigots appearing on their channel have raised public outcry with their attacks on Muslims and dissemination of white supremacist ideology, leading to extremely active boycotts of their advertisers and hitting the company where it hurts them most, in their bottom line.

The suspension of host Jeanine Pirro was also a sore point for Trump as he publicly called for her reinstatement after her anti-Muslim rhetoric grew even too extreme for Fox News executives staring at their shrinking advertiser roster.

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The final straw for the president came during the exclusive interview he gave to Fox Business Network host Maria Bartiromo yesterday where she had the temerity to ask him about his recent spate of ghoulish attacks on the late Senator John McCain (R-AZ).

“You spend a good portion of your time in Ohio the other day trashing John McCain,” Bartiromo said in an interview that aired in its entirety this morning. “Senator John McCain is dead. Why are you doing this?” she asked.

Trump responded with a fit of pique despite the fact that it was his own unprompted and inexplicably offensive assaults on McCain that inspired the question to begin with. His answer to Bartiromo demonstrated that not only is his relationship with the entire Fox News organization on the skids but that he is now threatening to lump them in with the other news media in the “FAKE NEWS” category.

“I didn’t mention John McCain until you asked me a question about John McCain,” he said. “I could say I have no comment but that’s not me. But you shouldn’t have brought it up. Actually, I thought you weren’t suppose to bring it up but that’s OK. Fake news, every once and awhile.”

Evidence of the deep offense that the president took at being asked a question that he was apparently assured would not be proffered was on display today at the White House as Trump gave such a notable could shoulder to Fox News’ John Robert that even one of his fellow journalists was motivated to comment on it in a twitter post.

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Like husband who has taken his wife for granted for far too long and then erupts in sullen anger when his spouse begins to occasionally point out that perhaps he should pick up his dirty underwear from the living room floor, Trump is slowly coming to the realization that perhaps his relationship with Fox News needs some work.

With a big anniversary election coming up next year, he will surely want to renew his vows with the network that has stood by him through thick and thicker. Will the feelings still be mutual? Or will the transactional nature of their relationship leave the president at the altar after his behavior has caused his paramour such financial insecurity?

Fox News is hoping that you stay tuned to find out.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.

Original reporting by Tana Ganeva at RawStory.

Vinnie Longobardo

is the Managing Editor of Washington Press and a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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