Where Fox News and Donald Trump took us

Over Memorial Day weekend in 2011, a caravan of reporters chased her down the East Coast on a six-day trip from Washington to New Hampshi...


Over Memorial Day weekend in 2011, a caravan of reporters chased her down the East Coast on a six-day trip from Washington to New Hampshire, thinking she might use the opportunity to report that she would run against Mr. Obama. The trip also included a stop for dinner at Trump Tower, where she and her most famous resident stepped out in front of the paparazzi en route to pick up pizza.

She would not reveal her intentions until later that year, in October. And when she did, she broke the news on Mark Levin’s radio show — not on Fox News. It was slight this infuriated Mr. Ailes, who had paid him $1 million a year in hopes it would pay off with the buzz and big ratings this kind of ad could generate.

There were signs at the time that Mr Trump was beginning to fill the void in Fox coverage – and in conservative politics – that would exist without Ms Palin center stage. He had recently received considerable network coverage for his fixation on wild rumors about Mr. Obama’s background.

A March 2011 interview on “Fox & Friends” – the show known inside the network for being so close a reflection of Mr. Ailes’ favorite stories that staff called it “Roger’s Diary” – was typical of how Mr. Trump used his media platform to endear himself to the hard right. He spent an entire segment that morning talking about ways the president could lie about being born in the United States. “It’s turning out to be a really big deal because people are now calling me from all over saying, ‘Please don’t give up on this issue,'” Trump boasted.

Three days after that interview, the network announced a new segment on “Fox & Friends”: “Mondays With Trump.” A promo teased that it would be “bold, brash and never shy”. And it was on “Fox & Friends” that Mr. Trump appeared after his pizza outing with Ms. Palin in the spring, talking about his prospects as a White House candidate rather than his own.

Mr. Trump and Mr. Ailes were, at first, seemingly a good match.

Although he had financial motivations for promoting sensational but misleading stories, Mr. Ailes also seemed to be a real believer in some of the darker and more bizarre political conspiracy theories.

In 2013, Mr. Obama himself raised the issue with Michael Clemente, Fox News’ executive vice president for news, asking him at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner if Mr. Ailes was fully convinced of the conspiracies regarding the birthplace of the president. “Does Roger really believe in this stuff?” Mr. Obama asked. Mr. Clemente replied: “He does.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Where Fox News and Donald Trump took us
Where Fox News and Donald Trump took us
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