On MSNBC, Angelo Carusone discusses Bill Shine's White House exit and what it means for Trump's relationship with Fox News
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From the March 10 edition of MSNBC Live with Ayman Mohyeldin:
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AYMAN MOHYELDIN (HOST): Angelo I know that your site, Media Matters, you guys track a lot of this stuff extensively. Bill Shine, the former producer -- Sean Hannity's, the president and Sean Hannity have an amazing relationship, have you learned any more about how all of this played out? How it will affect that kind of trio between Fox News, Sean Hannity, and the president and their communication?
ANGELO CARUSONE (PRESIDENT, MEDIA MATTERS): I mean, I think the face-saving observation is really critical here. Because, in a way, Bill Shine, he's really beloved at Fox News by a lot of these old-school Fox News hosts. Sean Hannity threatened to quit Fox News if Bill Shine was forced out and really led a very public campaign against him. So it's worth keeping in mind, even though they pushed him out and sidelined him, he can't actually do to Bill Shine what he’s done to everybody else, which is publicly lambaste him --
CARUSONE: Because that would have some of these people like Sean Hannity and others turn on him.
MOHYELDIN: We know the president goes after his -- people who let him down.
CARUSONE: Totally. And I think --
MOHYELDIN: [Former Attorney General] Jeff Sessions --
CARUSONE: I think that's what gives you part of the answer there, it's sort of like, what does this mean going forward? I think the biggest thing that it means, operationally, it's not going to affect much about the communications job, because Shine really wasn't doing very much. But what it does do is it actually, for the first time, puts a little bit of knock against Sean Hannity. He was the driving force. Him and [former White House communications director] Anthony Scaramucci. But Sean Hannity in particular was the driving forces of promoting Bill Shine for this job to Donald Trump. They were really his chief advocates.
MOHYELDIN: All right, so really quick question for you Angelo. Fox News and President Trump, they have a symbiotic relationship, they are codependent on one another. Going into 2020, who needs the other more?
CARUSONE: They both need the same thing, which is the audience. And I think it's true they have a symbiotic relationship. I actually think -- it's hard to think of them as two separate entities anymore. And I think it's actually hard to tease it out and I would suggest everyone start thinking of them as one and the same. And they're both fighting the same thing, they're fighting for the same thing, which is that Fox audience, and if one of them goes too far, right? So there are plenty of things that Fox can't say because they'll lose the Fox audience. There are plenty of things Trump can't do because he'll lose the same constituency.