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  • sit on this curvy couch

  • and deliver a bizarre mix of internet conspiracy theories,

  • Sharia law is now changing everything.

  • general absurdity,

  • Nickelodeon is pushing a global warming agenda.

  • And whatever the hell is going on here.

  • It's the Fox show that's so bad you can't help but laugh at it.

  • Can we get a stick?

  • Anybody got a stick?

  • What a bunch of dopes.

  • It's all a lot of fun.

  • Or at least it used to be.

  • Because now, these three geniuses are some of President Trump's

  • most trusted advisers.

  • Fox & Friends in the morning, they're very honorable people.

  • That's not coming from me, that's coming from Trump,

  • who recently called Fox & Friends one of the most influential shows in news.

  • And the scary thing is he's not wrong.

  • Right now I'm getting my daily intelligence briefing.

  • Oh, from who?

  • From you guys.

  • To truly understand the magic of Fox & Friends, you need to watch it every single day.

  • But my therapist says I'm not allowed to do that anymore,

  • so I got someone who is.

  • Did you know there's seven days of Fox & Friends.

  • A lot of people think it's only five days.

  • No, there's a weekend edition too.

  • It's a lot.

  • It's a lot of Fox & Friends.

  • This is Matt Gertz.

  • He's a research fellow at a progressive media watchdog group

  • called Media Matters.

  • Full disclosure: He also used to be my boss, so.

  • Well, this is awkward.

  • On the morning of October 10, 2017, Gertz noticed something weird happening.

  • Trump tweeted this, at 8 o'clock in the morning, praising a book by a little-known conservative

  • author, seemingly out of nowhere.

  • So I thought that was weird.

  • One of my colleagues pointed out to me that the author had actually been on Fox & Friends

  • earlier that morning.

  • His colleague was right.

  • Trump seemed to be responding to a Fox & Friends segment about the book

  • that had aired that morning.

  • So I looked at all the tweets from that morning.

  • I had pretty good matches.

  • Fox & Friends talked about the NFL protests.

  • Three minutes later, Trump tweeted about the NFL protests.

  • Fox & Friends criticized Democrats over immigration.

  • Trump tweeted about Democrats and immigration.

  • I said, "Well, damn.

  • He's watching the show and tweeting about what he sees."

  • Gertz started tracking every time a Fox & Friends segment lined up with a Trump tweet.

  • And he found a ton of examples.

  • Fox & Friends goes after Andrew McCabe.

  • So does Trump.

  • Fox & Friends talks about protests in Iran.

  • So does Trump.

  • Fox & Friends talks about Trump's mental fitness.

  • And, yeah.

  • The list goes on and on.

  • Sometimes Trump copies language directly from what he sees on screen,

  • quoting Fox & Friends chyrons verbatim.

  • Other times, he tags Fox & Friends in his tweet.

  • I counted over 50 examples of him doing this since his inauguration

  • because I need a hobby.

  • If you look at the frequency of Trump's tweets in 2017,

  • there's a spike between 6 o'clock and 9 o'clock AM,

  • which is Fox & Friends' time slot.

  • And Fox & Friends has noticed, too.

  • They now casually joke about the president watching them live.

  • When I asked the president to blink the lights on and off if he's watching...

  • And because they know he's watching, Fox & Friends has evolved from

  • a show that

  • to a show that

  • actively trying to influence his behavior.

  • A Vox study of 17 months of Fox & Friends transcripts

  • found that, after the election, sentences aimed at instructing or advising

  • Trump spiked by more than 50 percent.

  • I think the next thing the president should do

  • is start doing some infrastructure.

  • That same study found that the show was using more language aimed at changing the president's

  • behavior; phrases like "we need to," "we are going,"

  • and "we have got."

  • What does the president need to do, if he's listening this morning,

  • to change the narrative?

  • Jesus, how is this even real?

  • Okay, power through.

  • You saw this feedback loop in full effect during the debate over the recent FISA bill.

  • In early January, Republicans were widely in support

  • of reauthorizing a sweeping government surveillance measure,

  • and the White House had publicly come out in support of it.

  • But on January 11, Fox & Friends ran this segment,

  • warning that the bill could be used to spy on Trump officials.

  • At one point during the segment, Andrew Napolitano turns to the camera and says:

  • Mr. President, this is not the way to go.

  • You can probably guess what happens next.

  • Trump sends a tweet criticizing the bill, literally quoting the caption of the Fox & Friends

  • segment, Republicans on the Hill spend several hours

  • panicking. It is a bit of a confusing morning, to say

  • the least.

  • and two hours later Trump backtracks, saying he still supports

  • the bill.

  • When asked if Fox & Friends got to Trump, press secretary Sarah Sanders decides

  • to make fun of CNN instead.

  • I'm sure you're disappointed he's not watching CNN.

  • Ooooh!

  • All of this has given Fox & Friends incredible power to

  • to talk about sideshows that would otherwise never escape the Fox News bubble.

  • What you have is Fox & Friends doing stories, the president tweeting about what he's seeing,

  • and the rest of the media going, "The president just tweeted this bizarre thing,

  • now we need to talk about this."

  • Trump watches a dumb segment about missing FBI texts,

  • tweets about it, and it becomes the top story of the day.

  • Trump watches a dumb segment about the British spying on him,

  • repeats the claim in public, and sparks an international crisis.

  • That was a statement made by a very talented lawyer on Fox.

  • That's a lot of power in the hands of a show that's known for getting things wrong.

  • A show that peddles wild internet conspiracy theories,

  • Secret society, the missing texts, it all adds up.

  • embraces paranoid fear-mongering,

  • What, we'll annihilate North Korea after we're dead?

  • I mean, we have to do something now.

  • and launches smear campaigns

  • against Trump's political opponents.

  • Bob Mueller, we now know, is totally conflicted.

  • Jim Comey is totally conflicted.

  • It is a carnival of chaos.

  • These are not the people that you want doing the show that the president of the United States

  • is watching every morning.

  • Unfortunately, we don't have much of a choice.

  • Fox & Friends has spent years being treated like a big joke.

  • But thanks to Trump, these three might be the ones who get the

  • last laugh.

  • While we were shooting this episode, Fox & Friends posted a job opening for a head writer.

  • They're looking for somebody with a passion for current events and accuracy.

  • So, it's been fun, Vox, but it's time for me to follow my dreams.

sit on this curvy couch

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B2 US Vox fox trump segment president morning

The Trump-Fox & Friends feedback loop, explained

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    Samuel posted on 2018/02/18
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