Death of the Media
“A trove of Treasury Department emails released to the non-profit organization Democracy Forward and provided exclusively to The Hollywood Reporter this week paint a picture of a close, friendly bond between the Trump administration agency and two news organizations, Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network.”
I’m shocked. Shocked I say. Do continue.
“The 270 pages of email correspondence were obtained as part of a Freedom of Information Act request and detail conversations that took place in 2017 and 2018. While many of the emailed messages were standard fare for the television news business, dealing with the onerous logistics of coordinating newsmaker interviews, some revealed an unusual closeness between the agency and the networks.”
You mean walking typo and Worst. Bond. Villain. Ever Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s department was coordinating messaging with Fox News? Shocked, etc., redux
“On April. 25, 2017, Fox Business Network host David Asman appeared to advise then-Treasury Department spokesman Tony Sayegh (a former Fox News contributor) on how the administration should pursue a key policy goal: achieving a major tax cut. After sharing a quote from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Asman wrote in the email, “Take the BIG TAX CUTS NOW … a long-term deal with small cuts is useless. NOTHING IS PERMANENT IN WASHINGTON. Big tax cuts now give the economy the push it needs.”
Oh. That’s more than coordinating messaging, that’s taking an order from Fox News.
“A few months earlier, in March 2017, Sayegh and Treasury aide Jason Chung intervened to seek changes to a Fox Business network article that was written based on an interview Sayegh gave to host Maria Bartiromo. Chung asked the author of the article to make several changes — including to the headline — and asked, “Can you send out an amended tweet from the @FoxBusiness account?” The reporter agreed, writing, “Jason, I just did exactly what you asked me to do.”
This is not press, this is how propaganda and state media work. But wait! There’s more!
“Ahead of a scheduled interview between Fox Business host Lou Dobbs and Sayegh, a network producer emailed two Treasury aides on Apr. 27, 2017, with a list of economic topics for discussion. “Lou was hoping you could email a few talking points on the following and don’t hesitate to let me know if there’s something else you might want to address,” the producer wrote. (A few months later, a producer for Trish Regan’s Fox Business show told Sayegh to “please send Talking Points as soon as feasible” before a scheduled interview.)
“After Dobbs interviewed Mnuchin on June 2, 2017, Sayegh sent a Fox Business producer an email with the subject line “Boom.” He wrote, “The Secretary was very pleased to be in with Lou. And I was very happy too.”
I suppose we already knew this, but now we have proof. I don’t think this breaks any laws, but this type of deep, detailed coordination is really troubling. Possum Hollar doesn’t stand a chance to ever have real information. There’s no saving them.