Chozick and Parker tell us that Murdoch finds Trump showoffy. They tell us that Murdoch disagrees with Trump on immigration. They tell us that Murdoch resents the fact that Trump's wife remains friends with Murdoch's ex-wife.
If this were your only exposure to the subject of Trump's relationship to Murdoch's media properties, you'd think it was probably always a struggle for Trump to get any of those properties to take him seriously. Chozick and Parker tell us that Ailes is not on the same page as Murdoch with regard to Trump, but we never see how that's helped make Trump a Fox star for many years.
Recognizing that winning over the notoriously headstrong Mr. Murdoch appears unlikely, Mr. Trump has set his sights instead on wooing perhaps the only media executive who wields as much firepower among Republicans: Roger E. Ailes, the chairman and chief executive of Fox News."Wooing!" That's right -- according to Chozick and Parker, Trump has to persuade Ailes to give him a tumble!
... Mr. Ailes has been given the freedom to operate largely outside the purview of Mr. Murdoch.But, according to Choick and Parker:
Mr. Trump and Mr. Ailes, whom Mr. Trump has called “one of the great geniuses in television history,” had a private lunch last month in New York. (A Fox News spokeswoman, Irena Briganti, said they had known each other for about 25 years and had a cordial relationship.) ...
Fox News has by no means given Mr. Trump a pass for his remarks about Mr. McCain. On Monday, the host Bill O’Reilly chided Mr. Trump. “He was on a bombing mission, he was shot down, he was tortured,” Mr. O’Reilly said. “Come on, Donald, you know that the way that came off wasn’t correct!”This is the only example of Fox's coverage of Trump that appears in the story. We're told, without elaboration, that Fox's coverage of Trump has been "serious" -- but we're never shown what that means. And Chozick and Parker float a really cockamamie theory about the coverage:
... in Fox News’s serious handling of Mr. Trump so far, longtime associates of Mr. Ailes discern a larger plan.If you read this story, you don't even learn the basic fact that Trump had a regular weekly segment on the morning show Fox & Friends from April 2011 until last month -- nor do you learn that the April 2011 start date coincided with a period when Trump was pondering a White House run while obsessing over birtherism, a subject to which Fox dedicated 52 separate segments over a two-month period, from February to April 2011. (With regard to Fox & Friends, Trump praised the show's hosts -- "they're great people" -- at a campaign appearance yesterday.)
If the Trump balloon ultimately bursts, they suggested, it could buy time for other Republican contenders to hone their messages and become more seasoned campaigners. Either way, Mr. Ailes benefits with ratings in the meantime.
Ms. Briganti, the Fox News spokeswoman, called any implication that the channel’s coverage of Mr. Trump was a ploy to help the eventual Republican nominee “absolute nonsense, 100 percent untrue and said by someone who clearly doesn’t know Roger.”
If you read this story, you never learn that Fox gave more coverage to Trump than to any other Republican presidential candidate in June of this year:
And you never learn that Trump's contempt for undocumented immigrants is very much shared by Ailes:
“If I was president I’d do what’s necessary, including putting Navy SEALs on the border with orders to shoot to kill drug dealers who are trying to infiltrate the country,” Ailes told biographer Zev Chafets for the book “Roger Ailes: Off Camera.”The story emphasizes the reasonableness of Murdoch (Chozick's ultimate boss for eight years when she was at The Wall Street Journal) while giving readers no sense of the extremism of Fox. It's terrible reporting.
... “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” by Gabriel Sherman ... cites a far more extreme version of the Navy SEAL anecdote than does the Chafets book. “I would make it a requirement that you would have to personally kill an illegal immigrant coming into the country,” Ailes said, according to Sherman’s book. “They would have to bring home a dead body.”
But isn't Murdoch's pressure campaign having an impact on Fox? Well, yes, a bit. And then there's this:
Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy compared Donald Trump to a Navy SEAL Wednesday morning during an interview with the presidential candidate, saying that they both never back down from a fight.
“It started with John McCain last week, referred to a big crowd you had out in Phoenix as ‘crazies,'” Doocy noted. “Then yesterday you’ve got Lindsey Graham, who you used that inappropriate word about you.”
“You know what? As somebody said to me yesterday, Donald Trump is like a Navy SEAL; he never backs down when he’s in a fight,” he said.
Bet that won't show up in any follow-up from Chozick and Parker.