Sunday, November 3, 2019

I Want My Trump State TV

The line between FOX News and Trump White House propaganda continues to disintegrate as the cable "news" network is now the exclusive home of White House "press briefings" with press secretary Stephanie Grisham.

Since becoming White House press secretary on July 1, Stephanie Grisham has held zero press briefings. Instead, Grisham has found the time to grant interviews to some of President Donald Trump’s favorite current and former Fox News hosts.

It is not new that Grisham appears on Fox News, or that Grisham tells pro-Trump lies. Sarah Sanders certainly did both quite a bit while she held the office.

But it is new that Grisham appears virtually only on Fox News.

Grisham's particular innovation is to move the entire office of White House press secretary into the world of Fox News and Fox-adjacent media. After giving her first TV interview to Sinclair’s Eric Bolling (who was fired by Fox for sending unsolicited explicit photos to coworkers), Grisham did three interviews on Fox & Friends, and one each on Mornings with Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs Tonight, Watters’ World, and Outnumbered Overtime with Harris Faulkner. She has also done a subsequent interview with Bolling. Instead of actually briefing the press at the White House, Grisham treats her duties as press secretary as complaining to pro-Trump pundits about how unfair everyone else is to the president.

During her first Fox & Friends appearance as White House press secretary, Grisham defended Trump’s decision to suspend press briefings because they “had become a lot of theater,” and many reporters were “getting famous off of this presidency” and “weren’t being good to his people.”

The same day, Grisham also appeared on Fox Business’ Mornings with Maria Bartiromo, where she complained that the media is unfair to Donald and Melania Trump and asserted that she doesn’t need to do press briefings because Trump is “the most accessible president in history.” Grisham claimed her “job is to talk about what he’s doing and communicate his policies, and I can do that in an array of ways, which -- that’s what we’re doing and it’s just working out fine.” 

In the Trump era, reporters don't ask questions, they shout things at Trump when he feels like talking, getting on or off Marine One to make trips to Andrews Air Force base so he can golf or fundraise or hold a Klan rally, and maybe he answers.  Meanwhile, his press flack is merely a stenographer who goes on state TV to give the regime's view, unchallenged.

That's how autocracies work, gang.

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