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Donald Trump And The ‘Being There’ Presidency

Trump Watching Television

A new report indicates that the President spends a considerable part of his day watching the news on cable television:

Around 5:30 each morning, President Trump wakes and tunes into the television in the White House’s master bedroom. He flips to CNN for news, moves to “Fox & Friends” for comfort and messaging ideas, and sometimes watches MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” because, friends suspect, it fires him up for the day.

Energized, infuriated — often a gumbo of both — Mr. Trump grabs his iPhone. Sometimes he tweets while propped on his pillow, according to aides. Other times he tweets from the den next door, watching another television. Less frequently, he makes his way up the hall to the ornate Treaty Room, sometimes dressed for the day, sometimes still in night clothes, where he begins his official and unofficial calls.

(…)

Before taking office, Mr. Trump told top aides to think of each presidential day as an episode in a television show in which he vanquishes rivals. People close to him estimate that Mr. Trump spends at least four hours a day, and sometimes as much as twice that, in front of a television, sometimes with the volume muted, marinating in the no-holds-barred wars of cable news and eager to fire back.

(…)

The ammunition for his Twitter war is television. No one touches the remote control except Mr. Trump and the technical support staff — at least that’s the rule. During meetings, the 60-inch screen mounted in the dining room may be muted, but Mr. Trump keeps an eye on scrolling headlines. What he misses he checks out later on what he calls his “Super TiVo,” a state-of-the-art system that records cable news.

Watching cable, he shares thoughts with anyone in the room, even the household staff he summons via a button for lunch or one of the dozen Diet Cokes he consumes each day.

(…)

The ammunition for his Twitter war is television. No one touches the remote control except Mr. Trump and the technical support staff — at least that’s the rule. During meetings, the 60-inch screen mounted in the dining room may be muted, but Mr. Trump keeps an eye on scrolling headlines. What he misses he checks out later on what he calls his “Super TiVo,” a state-of-the-art system that records cable news.

Watching cable, he shares thoughts with anyone in the room, even the household staff he summons via a button for lunch or one of the dozen Diet Cokes he consumes each day.

For his part, Trump claimed to reporters that he doesn’t watch much television:

Trump told reporters Saturday that he doesn’t watch much television while at the White House because he’s busy “reading documents.”

Believe it or not, even when I’m in Washington or New York, I do not watch much television,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One. “People that don’t know me, they like to say I watch television — people with fake sources. You know, fake reporters, fake sources.”

“But I don’t get to watch much television. Primarily because of documents. I’m reading documents. A lot,” Trump continued, speaking mainly to print reporters. “I actually read much more — I read you people much more than I watch television.”

Trump was responding to a question about Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore (R) and whether he should continue running in the special election. Trump said he hasn’t “seen much about him” during his Asia trip.

“I haven’t been able to devote very much time to it,” Trump said, adding that he would “have further comment as we go down the road.”

Trump has previously insisted he has “very little time for watching TV,” though he often tweets about Fox News and CNN segments just after they air live.

Trump also had a 60-inch flat screen TV installed in his private White House dining room, according to Time magazine.

Trump’s claim that he doesn’t watch much television runs counter to numerous reports that have come out since Inauguration Day that indicate quite the opposite. Not only does he spend most of his morning watching one of the three cable news networks, but he is also known to spend his evenings watching the lineup of partisan opinion shows on Fox News Channel, especially Sean Hannity’s show at 10 pm Eastern and, when it was on the air, Bill O’Reilly’s show, which aired at 8 pm Eastern. Additionally, numerous articles have shown the relationship between Trump’s television habits and the contents of his Twitter feed. Quite frequently, Trump will tweet on a subject just moments after a report on the same subject had aired on Fox & Friends, Morning Joe, or CNN’s New Day. Also, he frequently retweets video clips from the feeds of these shows of reports that aired just moments before, or which he had tweeted about earlier in the morning. The same kind of correlation can be seen when Trump tweets in evening and the content of his feed ends up being similar to what was being discussed on the programs that he’s known to watch regularly. Given that, his claim that he doesn’t watch much television is an easily disproven lie.

The influence of Trump’s television viewing can also be seen in the fact that even his own staff has learned to use that habit to try to get messages to a President who seems immune to taking advice from anyone. Back in June, for example, a long time Trump ally named Christopher Ruddy appeared on PBS’s Newshour to discuss the fact that Trump was reportedly considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller. Ruddy spent much of his appearance explaining why he believed this would be a bad idea. At the time, many pundits wondered why Ruddy would disclose something like this. CNN’s Chris Cillizza speculated that Ruddy’s decision to was to send a message to Trump:

My (educated) guess is that during his visit to the White House on Monday, Ruddy heard that Trump was considering firing Mueller. Ruddy thought, rightly, that doing so would be an absolutely terrible political move. Rather than calling the President to tell him that, Ruddy took to a medium where he knew Trump would listen: TV.

We know from the 2016 campaign that Trump’s advisers and friends would use cable television appearances to send messages to Trump that he was simply not hearing in private conversations. For Trump, seeing things on TV somehow validated them, gave them an added level of importance that one-on-one communications lacked.

Yes, this is strange, unorthodox and unlike any past president. But, so is almost everything Trump has said and done since he became a candidate for president almost exactly two years ago today.

Those who successfully influence Trump meet him on his terms, not their own. That’s what Ruddy is doing here. Telling Trump his opinions through the TV filter. Because he knows that’s the only way to ensure Trump will hear it.

There’s something to be said about Cillizza’s hypothesis that speaks volumes about the kind of man we have in the White House today. The idea that the President of the United States can be influenced primarily by what he sees on cable news broadcasts is both bizarre and somewhat scary. It’s as if we’re living in a real-life version of Being There, the 1979 Peter Sellers film in which Sellers played a simple-minded man whose knowledge about the world was derived entirely from what he saw on television. In the film, Sellers’s character is suddenly forced into the outside world after his benefactor dies and, though, series of seemingly absurd events, ends up becoming a top adviser to the President of the United States. As the movie ends, the Sellers character is being seriously considered as the successor to that President. Now, we are living in a world where that character, Chance or “Chauncey” as he is known later in the movie, has actually become President. Trump’s cable news viewing habit is well-known, of course, and it can be seen in his Twitter habit, where his posts quite often correlate with what has just been aired on one of the three major cable news networks. It is an utterly bizarre world, but apparently completely normal for the Trump Era.

Peter Bart made a similar point in an article for Deadline back in March:

[While Trump’s every tweet fires up his opposition, Chauncey Gardiner rose to power in Being There through his benign comments about his garden. When he predicted “spring will bring new growth,” his comment was interpreted as a comforting metaphor for economic expansion. When he noted, “I don’t read newspapers, I watch TV,” supporters applauded his shrewd critique of newspaper journalism. When Chauncey exchanged friendly comments with the Russian ambassador at a state banquet, the meeting triggered infighting between the CIA and FBI because neither could figure out Chauncey’s background or motivation. None of his supporters seemed to understand that Chauncey was really just a gardener — “one who had rice pudding between his ears,” in the words of the kindly housekeeper who brought him up.

When Being There, based on a novel by Jerzy Kosinski, was produced in 1979, there was considerable debate about the film’s ending (the picture was funded by Lorimar Pictures, of which I was president). Hal Ashby, the gifted director, felt that his movie was a commentary on the state of American politics and hence argued that it would send the wrong message if Chauncey met a dire fate. Chaunceyism will live on, he believed (and I agreed). Hence the unforgettable ending: The last time we see Chauncey he is, to his surprise, walking on water.

As noted above, there have been numerous attempts by Chief of Staff John Kelly and others to break Trump of both his Twitter and television habits and, obviously, none of them have been successful. This is hardly surprising, of course. Trump is in his seventies and set in his ways, he’s not going to change his habts now just because he’s changed his job. Secondly, he’s the freaking President of the United States and if he wants to spend his time watching television, tweeting, and pressing the button that brings him Diet Cokes all day, there’s really not much that John Kelly, Invaka, or Jared are going to be able to do about that. Much like Trump’s Twitter habits, his television habits aren’t going to change no matter what anyone in the White House tries to do. All this means, of course, that we’re stuck with a President who gets his information primarily from cable “news” while regularly attacking the intelligence community that exists primarily to supply him with hopefully unbiased information and analysis. What that means for the future is anyone’s guess, but I don’t think it means anything good.

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Ben Wolf says:

    The greatest humanitarian crisis of the 21st Century is happening in Yemen with U.S. backing and we should care about an orange meshuggener’s channel presets?

  2. Mark Ivey says:

    4-8 hours a day watching mostly Fox News, goes golfing all weekend, sounds like a Republican retiree to me..

  3. de stijl says:

    He flips to CNN for news, moves to “Fox & Friends” for comfort and messaging ideas, and sometimes watches MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” because, friends suspect, it fires him up for the day.

    This is telling:

    He flips to CNN for news….

    See, even folks who are convinced that CNN is the devil incarnate trust CNN over FOX for straight news coverage. His first hit is straight news and his choice ain’t FOX. Because somewhere in his brain, he *KNOWS* he is being spun and bullsh!tted by FOX.

  4. Kathy says:

    Man in his seventies who behaves and lives like a spoiled 5 year-old bully, and his followers think he’s a genius.

    Shouldn’t the world and America be able to sue the Republican Party, The Democratic Party, and Hillary Clinton for not keeping this aberration from power?

  5. de stijl says:

    The idea that the President of the United States can be influenced primarily by what he sees on cable news broadcasts is both bizarre and somewhat scary.

    If you don’t realize that every country in the world knows this and uses it to influence our foreign policy, you are a fool. Saudi Arabia did it blatantly. Our President is a soft touch and easy mark.

    Donnie, look at me!

    [jingle jangle jingle]

    Look at the shiny keys.

    [jingle jangle jingle]

    Look at the sparkly keys!

    I will give you a bright, shiny nickel if you move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

    ————

    Pick a character from Workaholics or It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Just randomly, pick one.

    He or she would be a better President than Trump.

    Cricket, Ders, Dee.

    Any of those hugely dysfunctional *fictional* people would be better at Presidenting (yeah, it’s a verb now – h/t G Dubs) than Trump.

  6. MBunge says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Are you new here? Figure out a way that Mataconis can blame Yemen on Trump…AND ONLY TRUMP…and then it’ll get some attention.

    Mike

  7. michael reynolds says:

    @MBunge:
    Grab ’em by the pussy, Mike. Or is it, Don’t grab ’em by the pussy?

    And what is your explanation for why so many Trumpaloons are in touch with Russians and then lied about it?

    So many questions, Cultie, and you haven’t got the integrity or courage to try and answer them. So STFU until you grow a pair.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I have to disagree with this title:

    Donald Trump And The ‘Being There’ Presidency

    because we all know trump isn’t ‘all there’.

  9. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    Shouldn’t the world and America be able to sue the Republican Party, The Democratic Party, and Hillary Clinton for not keeping this aberration from power?

    This will sound contrarian and too clever, but prove me wrong.

    Had Clinton won in 2016, the likelihood that Rs would be “Playing Nice” would be 0%.

    It would be e-mail server 24/7. Trent Gowdy (who is a casting director’s cliche of a slimy Pol) would be a household name.

    Also, the likelihood that Ds would gain seats and that Rs would lose seats in 2018 would be very close to 0%.

    But, since Trump won in 2016. And the Rs did what was expected and went after Obamacare and tax “reform” they are going to get hammered in 2018. They will lose the Senate and maybe even the House.

    Had Clinton won, the 2018 cycle would have annihilated the congressional Ds. Because voters want a diamond pony (named Butt Stallion, natch) who poops unicorns and guarantees 10% returns on investment accounts and failing that they face the full fury of my vote.

    Until it happens that the President’s party doesn’t get hammered in the next election after their win, then we can talk. But in recent times, if R person wins Presidency in year x, in year x+2 a guaranteed huge D win, and vice versa.

    We have to withstand Gorsuch and lesser judicial appointments. All else can be undone. Thankfully, Trump and Congressional leadership are extraordinarily ineffective.

    ———–

    I’ve always hated the “heighten the contradictions” folks, but they do have a point.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl:

    But in recent times, if R person wins Presidency in year x, in year x+2 a guaranteed huge D win, and vice versa.

    Ummmm…. no. I give you GWB, 2002. Of course, 9/11 may have had something to do with that, 😉 and you did say “guaranteed”.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl:

    But in recent times, if R person wins Presidency in year x, in year x+2 a guaranteed huge D win, and vice versa.

    Ummmm…. no. I give you GWB, 2002. Of course, 9/11 may have had something to do with that, 😉 and you did say “guaranteed”.

  12. @Ben Wolf:

    The greatest humanitarian crisis of the 21st Century is happening in Yemen with U.S. backing and we should care about an orange meshuggener’s channel presets?

    Yes, we should. Because since Yemen isn’t on the teevee, it isn’t getting any attention from the WH.

  13. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    That’s the 9/11 Effect, erm… contingency thingy.

    My point is not disproved! I reject your 2002 Fake News!

    Also, look at 2006!

    Also, you additionally suck for factually messing with my totally cool (but very mainstream and conventional wisdom) hypothesis!

  14. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    As @barbintheboonies said on a recent thread:

    LOOK IT UP It`s all over FB

    This is my new debate rebuttal. It is so awesome. The stupid backwards apostrophe sells it.

    (btw, I’m half-assedly trying to make this a meme, but I want the Jesse Pinkman Breaking Bad version to go truly viral):

    Yo, LOOK IT UP It`s all over FB, bitch!

    I admire its purity.

  15. al-Ameda says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    The greatest humanitarian crisis of the 21st Century is happening in Yemen with U.S. backing and we should care about an orange meshuggener’s channel presets?

    It is not a binary choice for most of us, Ben.

    We can choose to be informed concerning our ‘accidental’ president, who happens to be the most important leader in the world, and about latest greatest humanitarian crisis of the 21st Century now happening in Yemen.

    I understand your point Ben, but I also understand that this blog tends to feature the socio-political environment in Washington and elsewhere in our Country.

  16. @Steven L. Taylor:

    More likely, the Trump Administration is fine with what the Saudis are doing in Yemen because Trump likes the Saudis. Just like he likes other authoritarians while simultaneously pissing off our most important allies.

  17. Franklin says:

    I just find this hard to believe. Are we 100% sure that he doesn’t just have some well-trained underling watch TV and tweet for him, just to distract his opponents?

  18. CSK says:

    @Franklin:

    No, because what else would he do with his time if he didn’t have tv and Twitter to occupy him? In any case, no one could imitate Trump’s Twitter style.

    He has “the best words,” remember?

  19. @Franklin: I find it very easy to believe because the things he says and does in terms of policy are straight out of FNC and the like.

  20. gVOR08 says:

    @de stijl: In these threads we’ve sometimes mentioned “fundamentals models” of presidential voting. Most of these models use a variable for how long the incumbent party has been in the WH. The idea is that there is voter fatigue, once one party has had the WH for awhile the electorate want to try a change. These models seem to more or less work, but I think US history allows an alternate explanation. As the Daddy Party and the party of money, Republicans are the default choice. We elect the Daddy Party until they screw up too bad (Watergate, HW’s recession, W’s war and recession) then we elect the Mommy party to clean up the mess. But as soon as the mess is cleaned up, we revert to the Daddy Party again.
    It’s taken Trump less than a year to get to where we’re talking about having to bring in the Dems to clean up.
    __________
    I think of “voter fatigue” as the rainbows and unicorns syndrome. ‘Obama’s been in there ever since I can remember (which for the average voter seems to be six months, tops) and I don’t see any rainbows and unicorns. Vote the bum out!!’

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: I soooo love the Jesse Pinkman treatment, but what is FB?

  22. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Ironically, neither was Chance the gardener; and that’s kind of the point, IMHO.

  23. Kylopod says:

    Over a decade ago I wrote a post comparing Bush to Chauncey Gardiner. I wasn’t the first to make the comparison, and Bush was hardly the first politician to receive the comparison, but at the time I felt he came closer to meeting the description of a Chauncey-like figure than anyone who came before him. In this case my argument wasn’t that he watched a lot of TV but rather that he was a heavily stage-managed, scripted candidate who was given to talking in simplistic soundbites–which is what I think was the implication of what Chauncey would become at the end of the classic film.

    It’s funny to think that, with Trump, we may have come even closer to the iconic character (though even that’s a little questionable, as Chauncey was always extremely polite and well-groomed).

  24. Scott F. says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I think you and Steven Taylor are both right. Trump is fine with what the Saudis are doing in Yemen and everything that he understands about what is happening there comes from the limited coverage it has gotten on TV.

    And Trump as Chauncey Gardiner only goes so far. From my memory of the movie, we were never lead to believe that Chauncey was a threat to the future of the planet.

  25. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    FB = Facebook

    Because if enough randos say the same thing on Facebook, it must be true. The logic escapes me, but that’s her working hypothesis.

    ——–

    My favorite Jesse Pinkman bit in all of Breaking Bad was when Ehrmantrout and Mr. White (Oh how I love that Jesse always* calls him Mr. White) are trying to figure out how to prevent the police from gleaning damning information from a Macguffin laptop currently stored in the police evidence room lockup.

    Walt is floating trial balloons, and Ehrmantrout is just cynically shooting ’em all down as is his wont.

    Jesse is sitting in the the background looking at the Big Brains have at it.

    Jesse throws in, “Yo, what about a magnet?”

    Neither Walt nor Mike even look at Jesse because he is an ignorant doofus. They continue bickering like an old married couple for thirty seconds.

    Jesse watches them kvetch at each other some more then kicks in with, “What about a magnet, yo?”

    [fade to black]

    New scene in junkyard where idiot savant junkyard owner guy is teaching / showing the trio on how electromagnetism works during the trial run. Hilarity ensues.

    Jesse’s kicker line:

    “Yeah, bitch! Magnets!”

    The whole sequence is a 15 minute slow-burn slice of dark comedy gold. Plus, it’s an explicit call-out to the seminal Insane Clown Posse “Miracles” track aka the “F**cking Magnets. How Do They Work?” song.

    The writers’ room earned their Emmy that day.

    (btw, all this is on Youtube. Check it if you want to.)

    My second favorite Jesse Pinkman bit isn’t really a bit per se, but it is how Skinny Pete and Badger look up to Jesse in the same way that Jesse looks up to Mr. White.

    And, of course, he escapes in the finale. Where is he going? What will he do? Who will he become? He is just driving away and crying and laughing because he realizes that he is free. He is finally free.

  26. de stijl says:

    @gVOR08:

    I think US history allows an alternate explanation. As the Daddy Party and the party of money, Republicans are the default choice. We elect the Daddy Party until they screw up too bad (Watergate, HW’s recession, W’s war and recession) then we elect the Mommy party to clean up the mess. But as soon as the mess is cleaned up, we revert to the Daddy Party again.

    That is genius. All of it. That’s your PoliSci doctoral thesis, right there. You rock pretty hard, my friend.

  27. Kylopod says:

    @Scott F.:

    From my memory of the movie, we were never lead to believe that Chauncey was a threat to the future of the planet.

    The movie (which I’ve seen several times) ends with the suggestion that the people around Chauncey are going to have him run for president. That’s very ominous, and essentially implies he’ll be a figurehead while the people truly running the country will be doing so in secret. It’s striking to realize that the movie came out in 1979, just a year before the election of Ronald Reagan.

    The fictional analogy that I’ve repeatedly made to Trump is Joffrey from Game of Thrones–who’s both a figurehead and a dangerous lunatic. (Apparently, George R.R. Martin himself agrees.) It’s captured in the following dialogue:

    TYRION: You just sent the most powerful man in Westeros to bed without his supper.
    TYWIN: You’re a fool if you believe he’s the most powerful man in Westeros.

  28. Guarneri says:

    A news report, eh? Yeah, when I think news I think CNN, or ABC, or MSNBC……..or NBC. Wait, no that’s the porn channel.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-10/greenwald-us-media-just-suffered-its-most-humiliating-debacle-ages-0

    Back to your self pleasuring, fools.

  29. CSK says:

    Braking news: The women who have accused Trump of sexual assault will be holding a press conference later today.

  30. CSK says:

    Should be “breaking news” above. Comment editor isn’t working for me.

  31. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Guarneri:
    Zero-Hedge? Seriously? Conspiracies and pro-Russia hokum. But it makes sense that you believe it. Apparently you will believe anything.

  32. Lynn says:

    @Guarneri:

    I had never heard of zerohedge.com so I checked it out.

    “CONSPIRACY-PSEUDOSCIENCE

    Sources in the Conspiracy-Pseudoscience category may publish unverifiable information that is not always supported by evidence. These sources may be untrustworthy for credible/verifiable information, therefore fact checking and further investigation is recommended on a per article basis when obtaining information from these sources.”

    https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/zero-hedge/

  33. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Lynn:

    I had never heard of zerohedge.com

    What do you expect from a guy that openly supports sexual assault and child molestation.

  34. @Lynn: @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: Yes, the reliance on Zero Hedge by Guarneri is, well, unfortunate (and this is not the first time).

  35. al-Ameda says:

    @Guarneri:

    A news report, eh? Yeah, when I think news I think CNN, or ABC, or MSNBC……..or NBC. Wait, no that’s the porn channel.
    Read more: http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/donald-trump-and-the-being-there-presidency/#ixzz50yBRVLN5
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-10/greenwald-us-media-just-suffered-its-most-humiliating-debacle-ages-0
    Back to your self pleasuring, fools.

    By the way Comrade Guarneri, did you guys ever track down the Hillary Clinton sex slave operation, you know, the one she was running out of that DC pizzeria?

  36. MBunge says:

    So, you decide to write something about Trump and the media. But you decide it shouldn’t be about the unprecedented number of absolutely false stories on Trump for which the media had to retract and publicly apologize?

    Which of these is actually a bigger problem for American democracy:

    1. A President who watches TV more than Doug Mataconis thinks is seemly?

    2. The American news media repeatedly producing incorrect, inaccurate, and absolute garbage news stories about a sitting President?

    Seriously, how many times did FOX have to retract a story in eight years of Obama because it was proven false within 24 hours of them broadcasting or publishing it? Not unfair or mischaracterized or distorted or speculation but an actual news story that said X happened when X actually did not happen? How many times has that happened with Trump in less than a year in office?

    Mike

  37. Mister Bluster says:

    Since “Gomer” Guarneri gets his brain filled by Zero…He probably missed Traitor Trump begging Russia to help him win the election.

    “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Mr. Trump said during a news conference here in an apparent reference to Mrs. Clinton’s deleted emails. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

  38. michael reynolds says:

    @MBunge:

    Will you be watching the press conference today? The one where women will come forward publicly and accuse your god of being a pervert creep? Will you be along later to tell us that they’re all lying sluts?

  39. michael reynolds says:

    @Lynn: @Mister Bluster:

    Yeah, Drew (Guarneri) has slipped clear off the track. But what’s the alternative for a Trumpaloon? They can’t exactly handle reality, can they?

  40. Mister Bluster says:

    @michael reynolds:..They can’t exactly handle reality, can they?

    Could be they know REPUBLICAN President Pud is a Russian collaborator and they approve.

  41. Blue Galangal says:

    @de stijl: That moment is also at the top of a very long list of favorite Jesse moments for me.

    I love Badger & Skinny Pete’s Star Trek script.

    And Mike’s never to be topped, “Are you finished?” to Walter, and then when Walter says he is, Mike punches him in the face and walks away. We are all Mike.

  42. Neil Hudelson says:

    @MBunge:

    Seriously, how many times did FOX have to retract a story in eight years of Obama because it was proven false within 24 hours of them broadcasting or publishing it? Not unfair or mischaracterized or distorted or speculation but an actual news story that said X happened when X actually did not happen? How many times has that happened with Trump in less than a year in office?

    So you’re complaining that the mainstream press has higher standards than Fox? Ok, we all agree with you buddy.

    In the Obama years, around 80% of statements coming from FOX were rated “somewhat false” through “pants on fire.” 80%.

    And no, I have no idea how many of these statements Fox actually retracted. Again, they have lower standards that other media outlets. This is not a surprise or a secret.

  43. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @MBunge: Does it bother you that Obama was nothing like racists thought the first Black president would be —but Trump is everything as more??? I find it utterly hilarious.

  44. grumpy realist says:

    @Guarneri: Ah yes, the man who blindly pushes Russian propaganda without thinking twice about it….

    And then expects us to take him seriously.

  45. Matt says:

    @Neil Hudelson: See the thing is people like Mbunge see retractions as PROOF THAT ALL OF THE STORIES POSTED BY THAT NEW SOURCE IS FAKE!!! Or at least all the stories they (mbunge types) disagree with.

    The people running Fox news understands the mindset of the Mbunges and thus refrain from giving retractions.

  46. Not that this is an original or deep observations, but it is amazing that corrections and retractions are used as evidence of subterfuge and falsity when, in fact, they are evidence of integrity and accuracy.