CNN's Brian Stelter: Inside the Toxic Trump-Fox Feedback Loop

09.16.2020 - By The Mother Jones Podcast

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It is impossible to tell the story of President Trump's rise to power without understanding his relationship with Fox News. Together they form one of modern America's most defining duos, argues CNN's chief media correspondent Brian Stelter, who documents their symbiotic dance his new book, Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth.

Through countless interviews with sources at various of levels of power inside Fox, Stelter reveals how the wildly popular cable channel has subordinated its journalistic integrity to Trump's political interests, while setting the daily agenda for his administration. "Every day's a new episode," Stelter told Mother Jones Editor-in-Chief Clara Jeffery, during a recent livestream event hosted by the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco. "Certainly Fox programs his presidency that way."

The title of Stelter's book was inspired back-to-back use of the word "hoax" by Trump and Hannity, to describe the emerging coronavirus crisis in the U.S. Both Trump and Fox downplayed the threat at the outset, a deadly error for which they face dual culpability (but zero accountability from Fox brass)—a travesty made all the more apparent following the recent release of Bob Woodward's tapes.

This conversation between Brian Stelter and Clara Jeffery is the centerpiece of an episode that explores the toxic feedback loop deepening the crisis in American journalism and democracy.

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