ALI VELSHI (GUEST HOST): It's becoming increasingly clear as the impeachment inquiry continues that Fox News is playing a major role in the president's defense. As Greg Sargent lays out in The Washington Post, quote, “Rank and file Republicans who watch Fox News are far more loyal to Trump than those who do not."
A recent poll from the Public Religion Research Institute finds that of Republicans who cite Fox News as their primary news source, a whopping 98% oppose impeaching and removing Trump, compared to just 90% of non-Fox citing Republicans. And 55% of primarily Fox-watching Republicans say there's almost nothing the president could do lose approval, while only 29% of non-Fox citing Republicans feel the same way.
Joining me now is someone who watches all of this very closely, Angelo Carusone is the president and CEO of Media Matters. Angelo, it's not “going on in secret," I just -- I think we have to correct that every time it happens.
ANGELO CARUSONE: That's right.
VELSHI: It's a closed door hearing, exactly the same kind that the Republicans had on Benghazi.
VELSHI: With Republicans in the room alongside Democrats.
CARUSONE: That's right, thank you for doing that.
VELSHI: There's no secret about this.
CARUSONE: It's not secret at all.
VELSHI: However, Fox should be able to clarify that as well, but you heard the Fox anchors saying that to the president's press secretary. So --
CARUSON: That's right.
VELSHI: They are reinforcing the stuff that the White House is putting out there.
CARUSONE: Absolutely, and they're also creating the larger conditions, and I think some of that was referenced in that piece, where 50% say there's nothing he can do -- if you take that one step deeper, what they're really saying is that the ends justify the means. Right?
So, you make the process illegitimate, so that no matter what happens there can't really be any consequences for it. And it's important to keep in mind that this is the -- actually the reason why Fox News was built. I mean, when Roger Ailes was beginning it, the whole idea was that it would prevent what happened to Richard Nixon from ever happening again to a Republican president.
VELSHI: So, what Geraldo said to Sean Hannity is actually kind of true?
CARUSONE: That's exactly right, and their -- it's in plain sight, because it's not actually a secret for Fox News. This was actually their mission statement or founding document, the way that any organization would start from sort of a core principle or a core critique, this was actually the product. Right after the Nixon -- Nixon resigned from the threats of impeachment, Roger Ailes put together the original memo that later became Fox News.