After reading Jane Mayer’s exploration of the relationship between Fox News and Trump in The New Yorker, I came away with the feeling that neither one could live without each other in their current status.
In a normal world of the American day-to-day news business, entities like Fox News would co-exist with all the other broadcast or print outlets and the public would see it as perhaps the same way it sees any other media outlet with an agenda such as The Nation or National Review or MSNBC and let nature take its course in the market. Their brand would be identified and they would find their audience and life in the news media would go on.
But something happened when Trump decided to break out from being a shameless self-promoting con man dabbling in reality TV and on-line “education;” two things that draw in the gullible and the begrudged of the population and therefore ready marks who would open their wallets. Trump saw Fox News as an easy way to hawk his brand of easy money and glitzy excess, and Rupert Murdoch and his minions saw Trump as someone with an uncanny knack for pushing the right buttons on their audience that bore envious grudges against the “mainstream,” which included anyone that didn’t agree with them that white Christian men with money were the ones who should really be running the country.
Thus this marriage of convenience and avarice. Both Fox and Trump know that the more extreme and sensational their stories, the more the aggrieved and self-pitying base will follow them, which explains both the National Enquirer and the New Testament. It also explains why the evangelicals worship Trump despite his obvious lapses that are antithetical to the strict codes of “Christian” morality that they used to beat up the Clintons and the Obamas. They know a fellow huckster when they see one, and along with Fox News, they could both feed and pluck the pigeons.