Angelo Carusone on The Bill Press Show: Trump's defense of white supremacists in Charlottesville "sounded exactly like Fox News"

Angelo Carusone on The Bill Press Show: Trump's defense of white supremacists in Charlottesville "sounded exactly like Fox News"

Carusone: Almost half of Fox’s coverage during the Charlottesville violence claimed “that the driver [of the car attack] was likely acting in self-defense”

Video ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

From the August 16 edition of Free Speech TV’s The Bill Press Show:

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BILL PRESS (CO-HOST): Looks like the media is Donald Trump’s enemy except when it comes to Fox News.

ANGELO CARUSONE (MEDIA MATTERS PRESIDENT): That’s right.

PRESS: And I've heard it said that Donald Trump is going to be loud and strong as long as Fox News stays with him. Will Fox News every break?

CARUSONE: I think they could.

PRESS: Really?

CARUSONE: Certainly, because they don’t have Roger Ailes anymore, nor do they have Bill Shine, who was really somebody who implemented much of what Roger Ailes' vision was, who was the president that got pushed out after Bill O'Reilly because he had helped cover up some of the sexual harassment. So they had two really important implementers that are gone, and you can see some of the fissures and cracks within the network. It's still an alternative universe. And the irony in all of this is that, as much as Fox News is Trump's greatest ally, in many respects they're also his worst enemy because they've created much of the reality that he has that leads him to go out there and give these kinds of press conferences where he can warn about the "alt-left" or say "both sides," because that is literally parroting the kinds of things that you hear on Fox and right-wing talk radio. 

PRESS: For example, when we’re talking about having to -- if we go after Robert E. Lee, then of course you have to tear down the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial. He said that yesterday, Tuesday. Monday night, here's Martha MacCallum and Newt Gingrich on Fox News.

[...]

PRESS: So your point is he's parroting a lot of what he hears on Fox.

CARUSONE: Completely. Much of the stuff he was saying sounded exactly like Fox News. So for example, I think one of the issues on Saturday to be honest was that he was watching Fox. And if you were watching the coverage on Fox on Saturday before his statement, it was almost a 50/50 split. They did not call or say anything about the car attack; they called it an accident, number one. And number two, they said that the drivwer very likely could have been acting in self-defense. And so that was -- almost half of their coverage pointed out that the driver was likely acting in self-defense. So if you're Donald Turmp, and you're sitting there watching Fox News, of course when you get to the microphone, aside from the fact that you have sort of a sympathetic ear to a lot of white supremacists, you've also just been told that maybe the guy was acting in self-defense by the network that you pretty much only trust. And so I do think that, in large part, part of the reason he keeps making these big, public stumbles is because he is just parroting what he hears in this alternative universe. 

Click here for the full interview.

Previously:

Trump’s remarks defending neo-Nazis were full of Fox News talking points

Fox & Friends Sunday defends white supremacist Charlottesville protesters: “There’s a reason those people were out there”

Echoing Fox News, Trump defends Charlottesville white supremacists, says they were not all Nazis

Fox host Martha MacCallum: "Don't we need to recognize that both sides have gone insane in these attacks?"
 

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