Report: Trump puts pro-Trump propagandist Lou Dobbs on speakerphone during Oval Office meetings
Dobbs’ Fox Business show treats Trump less as a president than a cult leader
Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF
A report from The Daily Beast shed light on the close relationship between President Donald Trump and Fox Business’ resident Trump sycophant Lou Dobbs.
Dobbs joined Fox Business in 2010 and, over the last several years, has transformed his show Lou Dobbs Tonight into a pro-Trump propaganda machine. The show’s overt adulation for Trump hasn’t gone unnoticed by the president, who watches Dobbs' program and often showers him with praise. An April 2 article from The Daily Beast demonstrated the depths of Trump’s appreciation for “O.G. Trumpist” Dobbs, reporting that Trump often invites the Fox Business host to offer advice via speakerphone in the Oval Office, sometimes “before and after his senior aides or Cabinet members have spoken.” From The Daily Beast’s report:
Dobbs doesn’t get to just interview and socialize with the president, he is involved in some of the administration’s more sensitive discussions. During the first year of the Trump era, the president has patched Dobbs in via speakerphone to multiple meetings in the Oval Office so that he could offer his two cents, according to three sources familiar with these conversations. Trump will ask Dobbs for his opinion before and after his senior aides or Cabinet members have spoken. Occasionally, he will cut off an official so the Fox Business host can jump in.
Dobbs, these sources all independently recounted, has been patched in to senior-level meetings on issues such as trade and tax policy—meetings that featured officials such as senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, former top economic adviser Gary Cohn, former chief strategist Steve Bannon, trade adviser Peter Navarro, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
During the more intense days of the tax-bill push, Trump made sure to have his White House personal secretary get Dobbs on the line. And toward the conclusion of one memorable meeting, when the line was disconnected and Dobbs said farewell, Trump looked up, smiled, and simply told the room, “Love Lou.”
Media Matters’ Simon Maloy recently examined Dobbs’ pro-Trump propaganda:
The running theme of Lou Dobbs Tonight is easy to suss out: Trump is single-handedly restoring American glory despite the subversive opposition of his many internal enemies. The president’s adversaries include Hillary Clinton, Democrats, Republican congressional leaders, the “deep state,” the left-wing media, and countless other supposed malefactors. For Dobbs, one critical word aimed at the president is enough to make you a “subversive” and an enemy of the American people.
Over-the-top hosannas to the massively unpopular president aren’t enough to fill an entire hour of programming. Nor do they adequately stimulate the overdeveloped rage centers of your average cable news viewer’s brain. So, to complement his fawning adoration of the president, Dobbs sprays hot venom at anyone and everyone who he believes has committed the figurative -- or, as we’ll see in a moment, literal -- crime of showing insufficient deference to Donald Trump.
There are a lot of people Dobbs wants to see sanctioned by law enforcement and/or thrown in prison, and the most prominent among them is former President Barack Obama. Last November, Obama went on an overseas trip and, while in Paris, obliquely criticized Trump for backing out of the international climate accord that bears that city’s name. Dobbs, as you might imagine, was not happy about this.