(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Fox News needs Trump for ratings — and he revels in it for validation

Trump is an avid TV watcher and is sticking with the network that says what he wants to hear


Matthew Rozsa
March 2, 2017 10:12PM (UTC)

Where does Fox News end and President Donald Trump begin? It's increasingly difficult to tell.

President Trump's dependence on Fox News is well-known to shape his worldview, even fueling his controversial statements about Swedish immigration and Chicago crime rates. Now, according to a new report, Fox News is his channel of choice.

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The president has significantly curtailed his exposure to CNN and MSNBC, including the "Morning Joe" program on MSNBC he once enjoyed so much, because of their constant criticism of his administration, according to Bloomberg. Because Fox News has consistently been pro-Trump, the president has relied on it, along with a few newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and The New York Times (aside from the Times, these are all owned by the conservative Rupert Murdoch).

The president particularly enjoys spending his evenings watching the Fox News shows hosted by Bill O'Reilly and ally Sean Hannity.

Trump's preference for Fox News, of which he has made no secret, has been a boon to the network. Fox News' February ratings have increased 31 percent as compared with the same month last year and its stock shares have seen a 12 percent increase in value since Trump's election in November. Trump also has close ties to the network itself, as presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner served as a liaison between Murdoch and Trump during the 2016 campaign, a time when the president was annoyed at anchor Megyn Kelly's critical coverage. By January, though, Trump's sentiments toward Fox News had changed.

Kelly later said that other Fox News hosts only pretended to be adversarial toward the then candidate.

To be fair, Trump isn't the first powerful Republican to make a point of getting his TV news from the overtly pro-GOP network. In 2006 it was revealed that Vice President Dick Cheney had a set of "vice presidential downtime requirements" for his hotel suites that included, among other things, the mandate that all the TVs be tuned to Fox News.

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Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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