“When Hannity’s off the air, he gossips with Trump and gives advice about who to hire,” Mr. Stelter said Sunday on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.” “So let’s just underscore how weird this is. No TV host has ever had this kind of relationship with a U.S. president before.”
The CNN personality also said the relationship between Fox News in general and the president is “weird.”
“And to take it a step further, no network has ever propped up a president quite like this before,” Mr. Stelter said. “Sure, Obama had big fans on MSNBC, but there wasn’t this kind of constant coordination. No one ever thought [former MSNBC host] Keith Olbermann was Obama’s shadow chief of staff, but that’s how some Trump advisers describe Hannity.”
“This is new, and it’s weird, and we shouldn’t get used to it,” he continued. “There’s been almost a merger between a culture war TV station and a culture war president.”
He said there’s a “feedback loop” between Fox News and Mr. Trump — where the network promotes a talking point, the president repeats it and the network covers it again.
“Trump constantly gets ideas and talking points from Fox, and then when he holds rallies he repeats those talking points, and Fox carries those rallies live from start to finish,” he said. “It makes you wonder: What would Trump do without Fox?”