Fox News is blinding Trump -- and it could inadvertently doom his re-election: columnist

It's no secret that President Donald Trump loves watching coverage of himself on Fox News, but that habit may bring about his political downfall.

The president's "shameless propaganda outlet" persuades Trump that he's succeeding, even when solid majorities disapprove of his leadership, and the Washington Post's Greg Sargent says that his reliance on Fox News nudges him toward bad decisions and blinds him to the political consequences.

"Studies suggest misinformation from Fox and other right-wing media outlets might be making audiences more prone to believing coronavirus conspiracy theories," Sargent wrote. "Meanwhile, even as too-rapid re-openings are a big reason the coronavirus is surging again, his Fox propagandists continue to push the idea that hesitation to reopen schools is pure politics."

"Thus Fox feeds Trump’s preexisting refusal to admit error in a way that makes him less likely to dramatically scale up federal testing now — which several governors demanded over the weekend — and more prone to continuing to push for a rapid reopening," he added.

Trump's own advisers fear those failures will endanger his re-election chances, and now he's charging forward with brutal crackdowns on protesters based on what he's seeing on the conservative news network.

"Fox personalities are claiming that electing Joe Biden will make civil violence 'a staple of American life everywhere,'" Sargent wrote. "They are relentlessly doctoring Biden quotes to paint him as anti-police. And they are suggesting that Trump’s Mount Rushmore speech, which conflated protests with 'far-left fascism' to justify sending in more law enforcement, represented the greatest oratory since Cicero."

"All this surely reinforces Trump’s belief that this messaging is working for him," Sargent added. "After all, the imagery of violence, when hyped this way, does make for powerful television. And Trump knows powerful television when he sees it!"

But polling shows that voters don't trust Trump on the pandemic or public safety, even if Fox News tells him he's doing great.

"On the two biggest crises convulsing the country — the deadliest public health emergency in modern times, and the worst civil unrest in half a century — Trump is further alienating the middle of the country with his malign destructiveness and his depraved reveling in the supposed power of his own cultish propaganda," Sargent wrote.