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They say you know you’re onto something when your opponents begin to lie. Donald Trump will be more keenly aware of this than anyone right now.
As you’ll be aware, during the first Republican debate, the Billionaire became embroiled in a battle of emotions with the aggressive Fox anchor Megyn Kelly (who was co-hosting the debate). After Kelly asked Trump a stupidly personal, off-topic question about the candidate’s views on women, Trump responded with a witty one-liner which sent the audience into hysterics. To this, Kelly’s reaction was one of visible annoyance, if not rage. Later in the day, when asked about the exchange, Trump mentioned the anger apparent on Kelly’s face, adding that he could see “blood coming out of her eyes, out of her ears, out of her wherever…” before moving quickly onto a different point. Having nothing better to beat Trump with, the media then collectively agreed to a fraud of deliberate misunderstanding. The “wherever” in Trump’s statement was portrayed as “obviously” referring to Megyn Kelly’s vagina, making the otherwise innocent comment a lewd reference to the presenter’s menstruating cycle.
This is old news for America now. The public was not fooled at the time, and they are not fooled now. But it is worth dwelling on in order to take the temperature of the American mood regarding Mr Trump, and also to reflect on what the scandal says about the American right-wing.
Fox News (with the possible exception of Sean Hannity) would appear determined to end Trump’s campaign. It is obvious who they prefer and wish to succeed, and that is Ted Cruz (not a bad choice, but inferior, in my opinion, to Trump). Never prone to subtlety, the behaviour of the Fox hosts during the debate was childish, manipulative and insulting to the independence of their audience. They went for Trump with a naked bloodlust, a rabid determination and yes, with blood (metaphorically) pouring from their eyes.
It is an obvious but frequently overlooked fact that the corporate right-wing is very different to the intellectual right wing. While the latter operates for primarily ideological motivations, the former does so for money and ratings. This could be the reason why the Fox News gang went for Trump, a man who is so confidently right-wing that the corporate right-wing can only lose by his success.
Fox News thrives best during Democratic administrations. That’s when the conservative population is most angry and in search of a voice sympathetic to their mood. When a Republican is in office, the Fox Network can prosper only by moving to the right of the President (a relatively easy manoeuvre in the Bush eras).
But if we take Donald at his word, a Trump administration would follow through on every policy the Fox audience endorses.
What would Fox do then?