According to Politico senior media writer Jack Shafer, Donald Trump's latest Twitter feud against the Fox News Network is a ploy to create drama and a distraction from his various scandals and to keep his name at the top of the news.
As Shafer notes, "fake feuds" are a staple of pro wrestling as well as reality TV shows -- both of which have been a part of Trump's career.
"Not for nothing was Donald Trump inducted into the WWE wrestling hall of fame in 2013. The man knows how to stage a fake fight—like his current brawl with the Fox News Channel," he wrote. "On Wednesday, he mounted a three-tweet attack on Rupert Murdoch’s channel. He savaged it for covering the Democrats, for hiring Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, for keeping Juan Williams and Shep Smith on the payroll, and he invited its viewers to stop watching his once-favorite channel."
Those tweets, he explained, are part of a greater plan.
"How angry at Fox can Trump genuinely be?" he asked. "Trump told Kilmeade that he appreciates the broadcasts of his longtime champions, the opinion triumvirate of Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, who host popular night-time shows on Fox. They’re so close to Trump they’re practically unpaid advisers to his presidency. Trump also gets unalloyed tenderness and obsequious respect from the Fox & Friends crew when he phones in."
"It’s possible that Trump is once again laying the groundwork to start his own, Foxier than Fox TV channel or conservative news website—annoyed to have his 2016 campaign plan interrupted by a presidency. But it’s far likelier that this is all make-believe," he conceded, before explaining his reasoning using pro-wrestling as an example.
"In the world of pro wrestling, 'kayfabe' is the code of secrecy that demands all players stay in 'character before, during, and after shows' to maintain the illusion that a real fight is happening. Trump’s trash talk and the raspberries that Fox functionaries like Hume and Cavuto blow back at him are pure kayfabe," he explained. before pointing out the revolving door between his administration and the network which recently hired his former spokesperson Sarah Sanders.
So why the feud?
"Trump’s faux-fight with Fox is designed 1) to add drama and excitement to where there is none; 2) make him the primary focus of events; and 3) temporarily complicate the storyline so viewers keep watching. Fox benefits from Trump’s periodic attacks (remember when he boycotted one of Fox’s 2016 presidential debates because it wouldn’t dump Megyn Kelly from the broadcast). They make the channel look like it’s standing up to the president, and Fox ends up looking more independent and credible," he explained before offering, "It doesn’t get more kayfabe than that."
You can read the whole piece here.