Inside the Feedback Loop Between the President and Fox News

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According to conversations in recent days with current and former Fox executives, producers, and hosts, President Donald Trump looms almost as large in the minds of employees as Roger Ailes did. Fox hosts regularly get calls from Trump about segments he likes—or doesn’t. “When you worked at Fox, you knew that at any moment Roger Ailes was watching. Every day was like a job interview with Ailes. Now it’s the same way for Trump,” says a veteran Fox News contributor. Apparently, President Trump doesn’t explicitly dictate talking points the way Ailes did, but over time, the effect can be similar. “What he usually does is he’ll call after a show and say, ‘I really enjoyed that,’” a former Fox anchor told me. “The highest compliment is, ‘I really learned something.’ Then you know he got a new policy idea.” But knowing President Trump always could be tuning in means the network is being programmed for an audience of one. “He has the same embattled view as a typical Fox viewer—that ‘the liberal elites hate me; they’re trying to bring me down,’” an executive said.


Inside the Feedback Loop Between the President and Fox News