BILL PRESS (HOST): We have seen many examples of Donald Trump's affinity with Fox News, particularly Fox & Friends. But perhaps the relationship could not have moved any closer. The latest from the White House is that -- he hasn't been announced officially yet -- but that Donald Trump is going to make his new communications director Bill Shine, the former vice president of Fox News.
ANGELO CARUSONE (PRESIDENT, MEDIA MATTERS): President, co-president. He was a vice president too, and then he got a bump. Yeah --
PRESS: I mean, how much closer could the two of them get, right? Or how much – clearly one in the same, almost.
CARUSONE: You can't possibly get any closer than Bill Shine. Because Bill Shine -- what's important to know about Bill Shine is that he's as close a thing to Roger Ailes as Roger Ailes. And he was an acolyte of Roger Ailes’ at Fox News for years.
PRESS: And helped Roger Ailes stay there despite all the scandals.
CARUSONE: That’s right, yeah. And so he helped cover up for Roger Ailes, he ran interference for him during all the scandals. For some of the women that had reported Bill O'Reilly internally, it was Bill Shine that had engaged in some of the retaliation against them. And he was the principle decision-maker when it came time to resign Bill O'Reilly's contract, and that's partly why he was forced out. And at the time, I think we even talked about it, [Sean] Hannity was up in arms about the prospect of Bill Shine leaving. And it's because of what he really represents, which is sort of the core of traditional Fox News over there.
PRESS: I believe that Hannity once said that if Bill Shine were forced out, he would leave.
CARUSONE: Yeah. That's right.
PRESS: That's how close they were.
CARUSONE: Absolutely. And there were both reasons for him not doing that and technical reasons. His contract had a clause in there that said if Roger Ailes were to leave, he could exercise and get out of his contract. They never extended it to Bill Shine. But, in spirit, Sean Hannity thought that provision of the contract applied to Bill Shine. That's how much Bill Shine was a reflection of Roger Ailes. That he really thought that the part of his contract that let him get out if Roger Ailes left also applied to Bill Shine, even though he wasn’t even named in it.
PRESS: All right. So Sean Hannity does not succeed in keeping Bill Shine at Fox News, but he does succeed in getting his buddy, Donald Trump, to make Bill Shine his communications director.
CARUSONE: One of the things about Bill Shine that, to me -- makes me uncomfortable, is that at Fox News even, even though he didn't have a very big public profile, he is somebody that's not uncomfortable with exercising every single possible lever of power. And the thing that I would just flag for liberals about Bill Shine in particular is that he's a very big fan of the poison pill and eroding things from inside. So he finds parts of, say, the left that he can turn against each other and weaponize through relationships or through direct incentives. He has a history of doing that at Fox and even on his way out when he was in a scrum and was trying to save his job, was pretty aggressive about trying to apply every possible pressure point. And I think, given this new perch, that that's a real threat that will be happening under the scenes that we won't even be realizing. So The Philadelphia Enquirer cartoonist that gets fired -- The Pittsburgh [Post-]Gazette cartoonist that gets fired because of some of the soft pressure around the editorial direction, I anticipate that you will see that happening all across the country at every single news outlet, whether it be in print, online, or television, that he's the kind of guy that would actually really shape the editorial policies, paper, outlet by outlet.