Trump’s 17-Tweet Bender Yesterday Was Based Entirely on What Was on Fox News

Matthew Yglesias, writing for Vox:

Trump skeptics probably shouldn’t waste their time sowing fear of nuclear conflict in Korea — Asian stock exchanges, including in Seoul, do not appear particularly alarmed about Trump’s social media antics — but his allies should take more seriously the notion that this is a terrible way to do the job of president of the United States. Even at its very best, cable news is not an ideal source of information about the world, and the Fox News shows that Trump prefers are not cable news at their very best.

Trump-era Fox has frequently been compared by its critics to a state broadcasting network in an authoritarian regime. But the Soviet Union’s top leaders were not relying on their own propaganda outlets for information about the world. For the president to govern effectively, actual problems need to be brought to his attention. But in the propaganda bubble that Trump prefers to inhabit, there is no endless darkness in Puerto Rico or falling life expectancy amid a growing opioid crisis.

This is uncharted territory. The propaganda isn’t being directed by the executive leadership, but rather, the leader is being manipulated by the propaganda. I would make the case that the most powerful person in the world isn’t Donald Trump, but Rupert Murdoch. Fox News controls what Trump thinks, and Murdoch controls Fox News.

If Fox News ever turns against Trump, he’ll be done.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018