Salon: The Week Fox Got ‘Trumped’

From Jack Mirkinson writing at Salon.com:

The past week has been very confusing for anybody trying to figure out what is going on in the saga of Donald Trump and Fox News.

There was the report that had Roger Ailes bowing to Trump after his attacks on Megyn Kelly during and after last week’s GOP debate gained unexpected traction with the Fox News audience. (And after Kelly started receiving death threats for the crime of asking Donald Trump about his sexism.) Then there was a different report that portrayed Ailes as “livid” over Trump’s behavior, even threatening to go to “war” with him unless the Kelly situation was resolved. Then Kelly went on a long vacation, and there was disagreement about whether she was taking time off in response to the whole mess or not.

All in all, not the easiest thing to decipher, especially when we’re talking about a news organization whose secrecy and insularity would make the NSA jealous.

So what are we to make of this welter of conflicting messages, leaks and takes? Well, for one thing, everyone who confidently predicted that Fox News had made headway in its quest to box Trump out of the Republican presidential race—a group that includes yours truly—has to admit how wrong they were.

We will likely never know whether Roger Ailes sternly put Trump in his place or whether he prostrated himself before the (sigh) current GOP frontrunner, but it’s clear that he has been put on the back foot by everything that happened after Trump began his campaign of harassment against Kelly. In Trump, he has met his match, another master of bombastic right-wing populist rhetoric. Looking back, he should have anticipated that he wouldn’t be able to control Trump. After all, Fox News has spent years boosting Trump, especially during his weekly appearances on “Fox and Friends,” the rabidly partisan morning talk show that’s always been the clearest reflection of Ailes’ personal politics.

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