President Trump's decision to promote Heather Nauert has given critics reason to believe the White House is turning into the Fox News channel. Nauert was a Fox News anchor who was then hired by Trump to be the State Department spokeswoman. On Friday, Trump was pleased to announce she was going to replace Nikki Haley as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
A few other former Fox News employees and managers went to work for Trump, many of whom ended up in his communications office. Bill Shine, former co-president of Fox News, is now the White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications. Mercedes Schlapp was a Fox News commentator before she too was hired to work in the White House communications office. Tony Sayegh, a former Fox contributor, now serves in communications at the Treasury Department. Other former Fox employees now serve in other capacities in the Trump administration, including in national security.
Washington Post's Philip Bump was among those who noticed the trend. In his latest piece, he analyzes what he terms the "Foxification" of the Trump administration.
"That’s a remarkable bit of interplay between the administration and the network that is also the only one Trump has praised regularly since taking office, the one he watches the most and the one that’s the most popular with his base," Bump writes.
This criticism gave former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer pause. He did some math and found that Trump's predecessor was guilty of hiring quite a few journalists too.
More than 26 reporters went into the Obama Administration. I guess that was fine with the press back then, but not now. https://t.co/cKrsvTe3HR— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) December 7, 2018
In fact, the WaPo wrote a whole feature on it in 2013.
But, Fleischer's comparison doesn't hold water, according to those who responded to him, because Trump hired so many journalists from the same address and promoted them to positions of higher prominence than Obama.
Fleischer had an answer for that too.
No, silly. Barack Obama had his pick of reporters from every network, newspaper and magazine. They almost all fell for him, and those who didn’t join his Administration loved him and gave him soft coverage for 8 years. https://t.co/iB3knOBDTS— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) December 8, 2018
Who made the better point?
This post has been updated.