President Trump calls the vast majority of mainstream media outlets “fake news,” but he has one preferred source: Fox News. While discussing Robert Mueller with his Real Time panel on Friday night, host Bill Maher remarked how disturbed he feels over the influence the right-leaning news network has on the Commander-in-Chief.
“Are the Republicans actually going to go down this road where they have to basically say Mueller is dirty, Trump is clean?” Maher asked MSNBC host Chris Hayes. “Because that’s what’s on Fox News now, and it’s scary how much Trump takes his cues from Fox News. [Russian President Vladimir] Putin has state TV, but Putin’s not an idiot so state TV does what Putin wants. I think it’s the other way in this country. I think we’re being… America’s being run by [Fox & Friends co-host] Steve Doocy.”
Hayes concurred. “Someone made the joke this morning, and I think it was absolutely correct, that depending on how Fox & Friends covered the big omnibus spending bill was gonna be whether [Trump] signed it or not,” he remarked.
Maher often speaks about the role Fox News plays in the era of the Trump administration. Rep. Adam Schiff had discussed the climate on Real Time in February when he argued, “Had Fox News existed and been essentially the state-run TV during the Nixon era, there might not have been an impeachment of Richard Nixon.” Maher also called the network “a very bad axis of evil” in the past.
These new remarks from the Real Time panelists come after Lt. Col. Ralph Peters left his post at Fox, stating how “ashamed” he felt to work for what he called a “propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration.”
Elsewhere on Friday’s episode, as shown in the clip above, Hayes pointed to the origins of Fox News to explain how it operates. “The way to understand Fox News is it was built by a very unique man named Roger Ailes, who had a foot in two different worlds: he was a TV show business guy and he was a politics guy,” Hayes said. “This is a guy who advised Richard Nixon, he advised George H.W. Bush. What he was building [with] the owner of that network, Rubert Murdoch, was explicitly a political project. That was the goal from the beginning.”
Maher also expressed concern over Trump hiring “everyone from Fox TV.” He pointed specifically to Larry Kudlow (television personality and now Trump’s economic advisor), John Bolton (Fox News commentator and Trump’s new national security advisor), and “Joey Five Pants,” a reference to lawyer Joe DiGenova.
“How can you be that stupid and still expect to succeed?” Maher remarked of Trump.
Watch a clip from Friday’s Real Time above.