If the Trump GOP were a publicly traded company on the stock exchange, after the last two weeks, that sound you’re hearing in the background would be the share price crashing through the basement floor like a runaway freight elevator with a load of lead bars. And just think, on Wednesday, the board is going to vote themselves and the CEO a nice, big, fat raise.
I used the corporate analogy because if Trump’s GOP were a publicly traded company, by far and away the largest single shareholder would be FOX News Corp. And the bad news for FOX right now is that they’re faced with the one thing that a large scale investor dreads the most, uncertainty.
Whether of not Trump brought his rabid base to FOX, or whether FOX sold their own rabid base on Trump is really irrelevant. My personal guess is a little bit of both. But the two went together like bagels and lox, and here we are. FOX made a speculative bet on a start up, and the river card is about to be turned over.
From what I’ve read and heard previously, Rupert Murdoch was no Trump acolyte, he considered the man crude and unstable. But Murdoch trusted the judgement of his own hand picked acolyte, Roger Ailes, who considered Trump as a lab experiment. It was his opinion that FOX could have saved Nixon, and his #1 star talent, Bill O’Reilly, who with the personal morals and ethics of a rabid alley cat, thought that Trump was the bees knees. And the rest is history being written.
FOX didn’t have to do it this way. As a conservative news outlet, FOX could have given Trump fawning, supportive coverage, but like the also Murdoch owned Wall Street Journal, quietly called him and the GOP out when they shit in their mess kits. Instead, a corporate decision was made that a rabid base required rabid coverage, and so for three hours a night, starting with O’Reilly, and then the vapid Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura acted like a bunch of porn movie fluffers, hit their knees, and did a job on Trump.
And now FOX finds itself in the same position that the GOP Senate found itself in last week. 72% of Americans wanted documents and witnesses. 71% say that Trump broke the law, and in one poll, 50% want him removed from officer. So far, FOX’s position has been to totally ignore the bad news, and go to the mattresses for His Lowness. But they can’t hold out much longer. Do they gently try to instill a little journalistic integrity, back Trump whenever possible, but gently criticize him when popular opinion is with them, or die on this hill and take the Trump train all the way into the station?
They can’t have it both ways much longer. Remember, FOX News was set up as an allegedly real news organization, but one with a conservative bent to offset the supposed “liberal mainstream media.” But in the last three years, it has become more an d moire apparent that Donald Trump and his merry band of freebooters have nothing to do with traditional conservatism, as shown by the 2018 election results, and the salmon spawn run of “conservative” voters who now call themselves independents. If FOX wants a place in the conservative post Trump world, they’re going to need to start their rehab soon.
So now, we all get to play stick market plungers, and watch FOX’s futures options trading activity. Starting on the Monday after the impeachment vote on Wednesday, when polling starts to show the damage report, pop into FOX news every once in a while. Not for too long, leave that to trained professionals like me. But just check out the presidential coverage. If you notice that their talent, especially the prime time talent, is a little less strident in their rabid support for Trump, and they start letting just a trickle of actual bad news seep in around the edges, then you’ll know that they’re gently starting to divest their holdings in Trump, hopefully without starting a panic in the market. But if they persist in their Goebbelsesque antics of screaming, mouth foaming, pulling at the hair defense of Trump, then you’ll know that they’re in for the long haul, and praying for the fabled “dead cat bounce.” Mainly that the post Trump GOP will be as insane as the Trump GOP.
FOX has to choose, and it’s going to be interesting. But I’ll tell you one thing right now. If FOX does what I expect it to do, especially with Rupert turning over more control to his sons, and makes a long term strategic decision vs short term profits, they’re going to be crying bitter tears that they backed Tucker Carlson over Shep Smith in their feud. Because they sure as shit could use Smith right about now.
To know the future, look to the past.before the insanity of the 2020 election, relive the insanity of the 2016 GOP primary campaign, and the general election, to see how we got to where we are. Copies of President Evil, and the sequel, President Evil II, A Clodwork Orange are available as e-books on Amazon, at the links above. Catch up before the upcoming release of the third book in the trilogy, President Evil III: All The Presidents Fen