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Gabriel Sherman: Trump Showing Fox News Not Needed to Get GOP Nomination

 

By    |   Wednesday, 10 Feb 2016 08:31 PM

Donald Trump is proving that Fox News isn't as relevant as it used to be at picking the Republican presidential nominee, New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman tells Newsmax TV.

"Really what's at stake here is Fox News' credibility as the gatekeeper to the Republican Party," Sherman said Wednesday on "Newsmax Now."

Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes built Fox News into the highest-rated cable news network and controlled the message, the issues and the candidates who had access to his huge audience, Sherman told hosts John Bachman and Miranda Khan. "Now what's happened for the first time in Fox News' history is that the front-runner for the Republican nomination has said, 'I don't need Fox. I'm going to boycott your debate. I'm not going to kiss the ring and bow down to whatever Roger Ailes wants the candidates to do.'"

After doing so, Trump is leading the race, "so he has exposed and kind of unmasked Roger Ailes as being the wizard behind the curtain," Sherman said. "He's a brilliant and powerful TV producer, but he no longer can control the issues that Republicans want to talk about."

Prior to this election, every Republican who was running for national office visited Ailes' office to try to get positive coverage, Sherman said on "Dennis Michael Lynch: Unfiltered."

"They would never really say anything publicly to criticize Roger Ailes or the network because Fox News maintains a very strict blacklist if you get on the wrong side of the network," he said. "They can cut off your interviews, limit your access. Well now here's Donald Trump, he comes in and gets into a feud with their fastest rising star Megyn Kelly days before the Iowa caucus. He skips their primetime debate and suffers a loss in Iowa, comes back a week later and crushes New Hampshire."

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The battle is less about Ailes and more about other factions within Fox News, Sherman told "Newsmax Now."

"One of the most interesting dynamics of this cycle is that Roger Ailes has not had his hand on the wheel. He's been detached," Sherman said. "I've reported how Rupert Murdoch has been more of a presence in the halls attending critical news meetings, daily news meetings which he used to never do on a regular basis."

Ailes has stepped back, allowing other voices inside Fox to have more influence, he said, including a big faction in the Washington bureau.

"You see them on Bret Baier's 6 p.m. news panel, who have been vocal supporter of Marco Rubio," he said. "Charles Krauthammer and others, and now you're starting to see them recognize that he is not the savior that they hoped and pushed him to be."

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Sherman noted the coverage given Rubio after his unexpectedly high third-place finish in Iowa. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz  said Wednesday he hopes to see the same from Fox after his own third-place finish in New Hampshire.

"Trump does have some big fans at Fox, but what's so fascinating is that there's no overarching and unifying message coming out of the executive suite at Fox News that you used to have in 2012," Sherman told Newsmax.

As for Sherman's recent story that Fox News stars Bill O'Reilly and Megyn Kelly are feuding, Sherman called TV news celebrity spats a "dog-bite-man story," but admitted it is "fascinating."

"Bill O'Reilly really fashions himself as the man who built Fox News," he said. "Yes, Roger Ailes is the brains behind the operation, but Bill O'Reilly was the man in front of the camera."

O'Reilly was Fox News' first star to draw viewers to the channel in the late 1990s, and Ailes was able to build the rest of the network around him, Sherman said.

"Bill O'Reilly, yes, is still the big fish there, but Megyn Kelly has come along," he said. "She's on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine, she's being interviewed on Steven Colbert, her ratings often beat Bill O'Reilly's so he's starting to feel like he's no longer the king of Fox News."

O'Reilly gave Kelly a segment on his show and feels he isn't given proper due for his contribution to her success, he said.

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Donald Trump is proving that Fox News isn't as relevant as it used to be at picking the Republican presidential nominee, New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman tells Newsmax TV. Really what's at stake here is Fox News' credibility as the gatekeeper to the Republican Party, ...
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2016-31-10
Wednesday, 10 Feb 2016 08:31 PM
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