After Donald Trump’s petulant and disillusioned Twitter spat with Fox News this morning, one of the network’s most credible journalists and commentators, Brit Hume, decided that he needed to disabuse the president of his idea that news outlets are like antibiotics — when one stops working for you you simply try another one to see if it does any better.
Fox News isn’t supposed to work for you. https://t.co/kQDY4UKv8z
— Brit Hume (@brithume) August 28, 2019
Hume — a veteran newsman who spent 23 years at ABC News, including seven years as chief White House correspondent, before joining Fox News where he initially served as Washington, D.C., managing editor for the channel — is one of the few journalists at the conservative cable news network with the gravitas and experience to post a tweet like that without it coming across as snarky or bratty.
Of course, anyone with a brain knows that true news organizations are meant to deliver factual information without partisan bias, but — with a large portion of its on-air staff consisting of commentators, analysts, and opinion mongers — Fox News has always presented information from an extreme right-wing perspective, often disregarding facts, such as basic science or, for instance, what the Mueller report actually says, to advance its conservative political agenda.
With the network a cheerleader for Trump since the initiation of his presidential ambitions, the president has been taken by surprise by the fact that his most egregious behavior has been reported accurately at times by the network’s few actual journalists like Shep Smith and that he seems to be losing the unmitigated support that he once enjoyed uninterruptedly from Fox News.
No one wants to be associated with a loser, however, and as Trump’s prospects for a second term dwindle along with his poll numbers, it’s only natural that Fox News is beginning to hedge its bets. The exodus of sponsors from its most controversial programs, including those hosted by Tucker Carlson, Jeanine Pirro, and Sean Hannity, has most likely called for some internal soul-searching (or at least some balance sheet searching).
Still, someone has to tell Trump that he has no god-given right to constantly fawning coverage from Fox or any other media outlet, particularly when his behavior has gone so far off the rails as it has increasingly done of late.
Thanks, Brit Hume, for saying what needed to be said. Now if only Trump and the rest of the Fox News talking heads could truly understand that concept.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.