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Bill Shine, FOX News, and the death of the free press

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Other than his plagiarization of Ronald Reagan’s “Let’s Make America Great Again,” Donald Trump’s repeated accusation of “Fake News” has been a key reason for the popularity he enjoys with his loyal followers.

Ironically, Trump’s fake news spiel is also a plagiarization of World War II Nazi propaganda called “Lügenpresse” which translated means “lying press.” Another irony of Trump’s repeated “Fake News” claims—in his own words news is only fake when it contains information he considers negative—is that he most likely owes his 2016 victory to the billions of dollars in free media coverage he received.

Since becoming president, Trump has not only attacked unfavorable media, but he has favored media outlets that feed his narcissistic-sociopathic need for undying adulation. For example, a recent FCC rule change gave Sinclair Broadcast Group—a pro-Trump media outlet with ties to Trump, Steve Bannon, and Breitbart News—potential control of TV news to over 70 percent of US households.

Another beneficiary of Trump’s benevolence toward favorable media is FOX News, the network home of his advisor and shadow chief of staff, Sean Hannity, and the provider of Trump’s daily intel, FOX & Friends. Like Sinclair, Trump is rewarding the network that once branded itself “fair and balanced” in the days before the Age of Trump.

It was announced last week that former co-president of FOX News Bill Shine—after a major push from Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly—will join the White House in a senior communications role. Thought his exact title is unclear at this time, Trump has been without a communications director since Hope Hicks bailed on him back in March. There have been 5 White House communications directors in the past 18 months.

In addition to his tainted history of turning FOX into Trump TV, Shine’s past includes his forced resignation from FOX News due to his poor handling of sexual harassment scandals involving former Chief Executive Roger Ailes and the aforementioned Bill O’Reilly.

Over the weekend, it was revealed that Shine not only failed to address these scandals, he was involved in hiring private detectives to intimidate and track Ailes’ accusers. This recent revelation has some calling out Trump for his decision to hire Shine.

It’s rather ironic that Trump, a man with his own history concerning sexual harassment would even consider hiring someone like Shine, but not surprising. Trump has been an advocate for the creation of state-run media ever since he first threatened to expand libel laws during his campaign—a threat he renewed this past January—against a media he once called “the enemy of the American people.”

With Sinclair nearly a done deal, and with FOX News literally having an office in the White House, state-run media and the death of the free press could be closer than we realize.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

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David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative, your source for opinion that's politically-incorrect and always "right." His articles can also be found on RedState.com. His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

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