Fox News likes to exempt themselves from the “mainstream media” label. Under the direction of the late Roger Ailes and longtime executive Bill Shine, the Fox News Channel built a brand portraying themselves as the only Big Media cable television outlet who understands Middle America.
That brand suffered badly during the 2016 Republican primary, as Republican voters and key viewer graphics saw the network repeatedly attempting to run interference first for Jeb! and later for Marco Rubio. They may give President Donald Trump the fairest coverage, but in the era of complete media hysteria that doesn’t say much.
The bar is low.
With the advent of “fake news” hysteria, Fox News has tried to exempt themselves from that label, too. But even they are capable of cranking out fake news.
Exhibit A: President Trump’s feud with Jeff Flake, the one-term senator from Arizona who won’t stand for reelection because he didn’t have the courage to face voters whom he clearly sees as backward and ignorant.
On Saturday night, Senator Flake told a Republican mayor that “if we become the party of Roy Moore and Donald Trump, we are toast.” Within minutes, Big Media began publishing one story after another citing his remarks. President Trump responded hours later on Sunday in a tweet.
Sen. Jeff Flake(y), who is unelectable in the Great State of Arizona (quit race, anemic polls) was caught (purposely) on “mike” saying bad things about your favorite President. He’ll be a NO on tax cuts because his political career anyway is “toast.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2017
“Sen. Jeff Flake(y), who is unelectable in the Great State of Arizona (quit race, anemic polls) was caught (purposely) on ‘mike’ saying bad things about your favorite President,” he wrote. “He’ll be a NO on tax cuts because his political career anyway is ‘toast.'”
Let’s look at the headline on Fox News.
That headline is fake news and leaves a reader-at-a-glance with the impression the president was picking a fight. It’s meant to perpetuate a Big Media narrative that is more than a little unfair to President Trump. Whether you hear about the attack that invited his response in the media or not, he is and always has been a counterpuncher.
Fox debunks their own headline in the opening paragraph of their own story.
President Donald Trump slammed back at Sen. Jeff Flake in a tweet Sunday night, calling him “unelectable” and referring to his political career as “toast” days after the Republican senator was caught criticizing the president.
So, who started the feud? Right. Folks, that’s fake news, too.
There’s also no mention of the fact that Flake was the original NeverTrumper or that he wrote a book allegedly about conservatism to trash the president. Senator Flake has long-been auditioning for a job on CNN or MSNBC in anticipation of his defeat, which is what this “hot mic” moment really was. To suggest otherwise is not only false but also an insult to the intelligence of your viewers and readers.