The View introduced CNN’s Brian Stelter on Wednesday by playing the recent clip of President Donald Trump openly admitting just how much Fox News he watches on a daily basis. Nothing else could better sum up the premise of Stelter’s new book, Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth.
Moderator Whoopi Goldberg began by asking the Reliable Sources host about Trump’s ABC town-hall event from the night before. “He went outside the Fox News bubble and I’m glad he did!” Stelter exclaimed. “It was incredible to hear these voters.”
From there, Joy Behar asked Stelter about Fox News’ continued attacks on the same type of “anonymous sources” that helped bring down Richard Nixon. “You say that Trump is Hannity's number one anonymous source,” she said. “So what’s the biggest danger this country faces from that?”
“I feel like I had to write this book because these guys are hypocrites. Sean Hannity is a hypocrite!” Stelter replied. “He's blasting anonymous sources and saying journalism is dead when he uses an anonymous source in the form of President Trump.” Working in the title of his book, he added, “The greatest hoax of all of the Trump years is that Donald Trump has convinced one-third of the country not to believe not anything but Sean Hannity and Fox and Trump.”
Later in the interview, Meghan McCain attempted to create a false equivalence between Fox and CNN by bringing up audio recordings that Tucker Carlson has been selectively leaking of CNN president Jeff Zucker giving Michael Cohen advice for Trump ahead of a Republican primary debate.
“Do you believe that this is acceptable, and don’t you think there’s enough fair criticism to go all the way around right now in just how news networks are run?” McCain asked.
Loath to criticize his employer, Stelter instead used her example of yet another instance of Fox’s coziness with Trump. “Well first, I think you should write a book,” he began, flattering McCain. “You listed off all of these storylines, but a lot of them are cherry-picked.”
“I do have a question about this that relates to my book,” he continued. “Michael Cohen says these audiotapes were only held by Trump, the Trump Organization, and the DOJ. So all of a sudden they’re airing on Fox News. You have to wonder if this is another example of this feedback loop that exists between Trump and Fox.”
Before his interview ended, Stelter appeared to get in one small dig at McCain when he explained that anchors on CNN and elsewhere have become more opinionated under Trump because “it’s the best way to cut through all the noise and get to the news.”
“To say, for example, the media is not the enemy of the American people or the enemy of Republicans,” he said, directly quoting McCain’s comments about Bob Woodward from last week, “the media is the enemy of liars and we can debunk lies through these essays.”