20-something producers in charge of what the TV-watcher-in-chief saw on the air may have had even more influence on Donald Trump than his big name secret advisers Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, Laura Ingraham, etc.
A Washington Post article has the deets:
Michael Pillsbury, an informal Trump adviser, said he realized how powerful Fox News was in Trump’s orbit when the former president began embracing Sidney Powell — an attorney promoting Trump’s false claims of widespread voter fraud — and other election fabulists after seeing them on Dobbs’s show. Pillsbury added that while it seemed obvious that many of the claims were patently false, Trump was inclined to believe them, in part because he was watching them on TV and had affection for Dobbs in particular.
“It taught me the power of the young producers at Fox, and Fox Business especially,” Pillsbury said. “These young producers who are in their mid-20s. They come out of the conservative movement, they‘ve never been in the government. They are presented with these reckless, fantastical accounts. And they believe them and put them on for ratings.”
One former top White House official said that the hosts often had more influence with Trump based on what they said on air rather than in their various backchannels to him and his team, in part because the former president was obsessed with the following — and ratings — of their shows.
Just think: If Rupert or Lachlan Murdoch had had the decency to demand that their employees insist on the air that Trump lost the 2020 election fair and square and he should put on his big boy pants and accept it, January 6th might never have happened.
Hawking Trump's election lies could cost the Murdochs billions. Let’s hope it does. It's a small price for the damage they've done to our democracy.
(Trump image via screen grab)