Republicans are depending on Fox News to help weed out bad candidates this year.
The extent to which Fox News proudly functions as a Republican Party propaganda outlet is openly discussed among GOP leaders in Congress. And this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pushed colleagues to participate in Fox News programming in order to help the party retain control of Congress.
McConnell strategy, apparently, is to count on Fox News to help deliver key votes during the midterm cycle, he's also sure it will parrot whatever points Trump makes regarding Republican candidates during the primary season.
"In the Senate Republicans’ closed-door luncheon Wednesday, McConnell stressed the importance of appearances on Fox News programs, arguing that the key to defeating Blankenship was a sharp turn against the candidate in Fox News coverage in the final two days before the election," the Washington Post reports.
Fox News, apparently, gets credit for helping the GOP dodge the Don Blankenship bullet, after the West Virginia Senate candidate lost Tuesday's Republican primary. (Don Blankenship was the controversial Trump-esque candidate who was convicted and served time in prison for conspiring to violate mine safety regulations after an explosion at one of his company’s mines killed 29 people in 2010.)
So not only does the GOP see Fox News' role as promoting White House talking points, it also the channel to help clear the field during this year's primary season and weed out bad Republican candidates so the party will have a better chance of winning seats in the fall.
It's an astonishing political role for any cable television outlet to play, especially one that has "News" attached to its title. The blatant disregard for news gathering and its unethical, heavy-handed tactics even forced longtime Fox News contributor Ralph Peters to speak out and resign in disgust earlier this year.
"In my view, Fox has degenerated from providing a legitimate and much-needed outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration," Peters wrote following his departure. "Over my decade with Fox, I long was proud of the association. Now I am ashamed."
This is all part of a larger trend where conservative media outlets slavishly commit their content and programming to whatever Trump is pushing.
It's a dangerous, unblinking alliance where media companies function as purely political players.