In Defying the Odds, we discuss the role of the media, particularly conservative media.
....I don’t want to Win for myself, I only want to Win for the people. The New @FoxNews is letting millions of GREAT people down! We have to start looking for a new News Outlet. Fox isn’t working for us anymore!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 28, 2019
‘First of all, Mr. President, we don’t work for you. I don’t work for you.’ — Watch this Fox News anchor slam Trump for whining about the channel airing segments that didn’t praise him pic.twitter.com/SCN7EVQyj3— NowThis (@nowthisnews) September 1, 2019
In the world of pro wrestling, “kayfabe” is the code of secrecy that demands all players stay in “character before, during, and after shows” to maintain the illusion that a real fight is happening. Trump’s trash talk and the raspberries that Fox functionaries like Hume and Cavuto blow back at him are pure kayfabe. As Media Matters for America’s Matt Gertz has noted, Trump so adores Fox that he’s peppered his administration with former Fox News staffers, and five of his former employees have moved on to jobs at Fox or its parent company. Just recently, former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, among the most loyal of all Trumpies, took a job as a Fox News contributor.
Trump’s faux-fight with Fox is designed 1) to add drama and excitement to where there is none; 2) make him the primary focus of events; and 3) temporarily complicate the storyline so viewers keep watching. Fox benefits from Trump’s periodic attacks (remember when he boycotted one of Fox’s 2016 presidential debates because it wouldn’t dump Megyn Kelly from the broadcast). They make the channel look like it’s standing up to the president, and Fox ends up looking more independent and credible.
It doesn’t get more kayfabe than that.