sábado, 10 de diciembre de 2016

Worse than irrelevant': How Donald Trump's potential press secretary views the press

Laura Ingraham

On Tuesday, President-elect Donald Trump met with conservative commentator Laura Ingraham at Trump Tower. Ingraham — a talk radio host, Fox News contributor and the founder of conservative lifestyle site Lifezette — is believed to be the leading candidate to be Trump’s press secretary.

Trump places a premium on loyalty, and Ingraham has supported the president-elect from the moment that he announced his candidacy a year and a half ago. A long-time supporter of hard-line immigration policies, she was a natural surrogate for the Trump campaign. This distinguishes her from the crop of opportunistic talking heads who gravitated toward Trump in order to make names for themselves. Ingraham is a true believer.

“I don’t think Laura has behaved wonderfully during this whole thing, but I’ll give her credit — she basically believes all of this stuff,” National Review columnist Jonah Goldberg, an avowed critic of the Trump campaign, told POLITICO just before the election. “There are other pundits, I think, there are other conservatives who have basically just jumped on board the Trump train out of cynical necessity and desire for access and one last shot at the rodeo and all the rest. Laura hasn’t sold out her positions. Her positions have become increasingly sort of protectionist and nationalist for a while now.”

Ingraham is interested in helping to shape the Trump administration’s positions, especially when it comes to immigration policy. As POLITICO reported two weeks ago, Ingraham is willing to serve as White House press secretary, but only if she has a role in policy-making. She wants to help shape the administration’s positions, not just communicate them to reporters.

"I have known Donald Trump for a long time, and we have been friends for a long time, and I am looking forward to that conversation. It is a great privilege to even be considered," she said on "Fox & Friends" Tuesday morning. "If your country calls you, if God opens that door, you have to seriously consider it. If I can really help, it is hard to say no to that. If I think I can help, which I think I could."

If Ingraham would be more interested in policy than previous White House press secretaries, she would also be less interested in the press.

She believes that most mainstream news organizations are part of a bipartisan liberal establishment that is institutionally biased against Trump and right-wing populist movements. Throughout the campaign, she relentlessly criticized the “establishment media” and “Republican establishment” for its opposition to Trump.

She is a strong supporter of what she calls “new media” — right-wing sites like Breitbart and her own Lifezette.

In an interview with POLITICO a few days before the election, she predicted that conservatives would come to see mainstream news organizations as biased against Trump and therefore embrace alternative conservative media sources.

“The power will continue to move toward the New Media and away from the corrupt consultants who have only a track record of failure but are prominently featured by more liberal established ‘news’ outlets that are overwhelmingly viewed as biased for Mrs. Clinton by 85 percent of Americans in this election season,” she said.

These new media organizations will sometimes publish fake news and conspiracy theories. The Intercept reported that Ingraham’s own lifestyle site, Lifezette, posted a video called “Clinton body count,” which spread false conspiracy theories about Bill and Hillary Clinton murdering people.

Ingraham praised these new media outlets for being willing to spread wild conspiracy theories about Benghazi and Hillary Clinton’s private server that the mainstream media ignored.

“New media has spent enormous time and resources covering Benghazi, the FBI investigation, Wikileaks, Planned Parenthood and the corrupt Justice Department,” she said. “None of these things and others would have come to light without the New Media. ABC, NBC, the Washington Post are worse than irrelevant. We now must make fun of them.”

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