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Trump’s ‘conservative media firewall’ is in shambles as Drudge turns on the president: CNN host

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On CNN Saturday, center-right talk show host Michael Smerconish noted that President Donald Trump appears to be slipping with an absolutely critical group of people: Conservatives in the media.

“President Trump’s impeachment by the House of Representatives seems increasingly likely, setting up a trial in the Senate,” said Smerconish. “How Republicans sitting as jurors handle their responsibility might be dependent upon the party’s leadership, but I am not referring to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his cohorts — I’m talking about the conservative media, where some cracks have recently appeared in the president’s firewall.”

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“In the last 30 years, the triumvirate of talk radio, Fox News, and the Drudge Report have supplanted the conventional Republican Party apparatus,” continued Smerconish. “This is the glue of the GOP, where the base gets its guidance and its marching orders, and the influence is especially felt in primary season in closed primary states. That is why it’s significant that at both Fox News and the Drudge Report, there have been signs of discontent with the president.”

“Donald Trump’s candidacy, well, that was welcomed at Drudge with encouraging led lines like these: ‘THE DONALD GOES FOR THE WHITE HOUSE!’ ‘TRUMP ROCKS RACE!’ ‘NOW THEY TAKE HIM SERIOUSLY!'” said Smerconish. “And after he was elected, you get, ‘TRUMP ROCKS THE HOUSE: FIVE MINUTE OVATION AS HE ENTERED TO CHEERS.’ ‘PRESIDENT FOR 10 WEEKS! ‘GIVE HIM A BREAK.” Things have recently changed. Now it’s ‘TRANSCRIPT RELEASED … REPUBLICAN CRACKS EMERGE.’ ‘FOX SHOCK: 51% WANT TRUMP REMOVED,’ and this ominous photo, ‘FEAR: WHISTLEBLOWER ASKS TO TESTIFY IN WRITING.’ Today, this morning. The front page, how Shepherd Smith is leaving. ‘TRUMP CRITIC EXITS, COLLEAGUES STUNNED, PRESIDENT CELEBRATES.'”

“Ironically, Drudge became the go-to source for conservatives in the last American impeachment process, trumpeting every negative comment for President Bill Clinton,” added Smerconish. “In January 1998, you’ll remember it was Drudge who first revealed that Newsweek had killed a Michael Isikoff story on the White House intern scandal hours before publication. And then in 1999, that NBC’s ‘Dateline’ was not releasing an explosive interview with a woman named Jaunita Broaddrick, who accused Bill Clinton of a past sexual assault.”

“So is Drudge doing it because he has soured on Trump, or because he is sensing a change in his readership?” asked Smerconish. “Either way, it’s not good for the president.”

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