In 2010, David Frum observed that, “Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us, and now we are discovering we work for Fox.”
I was reminded of Frum’s quip when I heard that former House Speaker Paul Ryan was joining the board of directors of Fox Corporation, the newly streamlined parent company of the right-wing news outlet.
In the Trump era, the mind-meld between Fox News and the GOP is complete. They are more than just allies or even two wings of the same movement. Rather they are one cohesive entity, which maybe we should call GOPFOX. In Trump, we have a president whose mental horizon seems more shaped by Fox News than anything else and whose administration is populated by Fox News alumni.
But as Paul Ryan’s move shows, the traffic is two-ways. Indeed, in terms of a long run future, Ryan is perhaps more secure on the board of the Fox Corporation than elsewhere. Republican governments come and go but Fox News is forever.
All of which should cause us to question those centrist journalists who want to treat Fox News as just another news outlet.