Is Fox News allied with Trump

Fox News presenter : Tucker Carlson is Trump's great whisperer

The fact that the US president has a favorite station is now common knowledge. The former reality TV star is said to spend four to eight hours in front of the TV screen every day, most of the time on Fox News. How much the conservative channel and especially its talk show moderators actually shape Donald Trump's politics is sometimes astonishing. On the one hand there is Sean Hannity, who repeatedly shows off that he has a direct line to the president and defends him against all criticism.

And there is Tucker Carlson, who broadcasts an hour before Hannity and, despite his elite university attitude, is known for his rough demeanor. He wrote the sentence that immigration makes American cities "dirtier". The son of a former news anchor and diplomat is a staunch isolationist. Carlson advocates the thesis that the US military is stationed in too many places around the world and is therefore lacking in the true American "crisis locations" such as the border with Mexico. No wonder Trump likes to listen to "Tucker Carlson Tonight".

The president also listened very carefully on the day he had to decide how America would react to a drone being shot down by Iran. In the end, Trump refrained from retaliating at the last minute that could have escalated the crisis. Because that, Carlson had made clear, would not go down well with his voters. They wanted him to keep his promise to bring soldiers home - and certainly not a new war.

He advised Trump against military strikes against Iran

But people who led America into the Iraq war in 2003 would now want to urge the president to do so. By "people", Tucker means above all Trump's security advisor John Bolton, who was a welcome analyst at Fox News until his appointment.

The 50-year-old presenter made his big appearance at Trump's side, surprisingly, at the inner-Korean border. He was there live when a US president set foot on North Korean soil for the first time - instead of Bolton, who was also in Mongolia at the same time. Carlson's remarks afterwards can be read as an explanation of why Trump was prepared to pay so much attention to the dictator Kim Jong Un without preconditions - a step that his predecessors had always refused.

"We have to be honest about what it means to run a country," said Carlson. It means killing people. "Not as many as North Korea, but many countries commit atrocities, including close allies of ours." Such a relativization of North Korean atrocities would have caused great outrage in normal times. But nothing is normal under Trump.

Now new: We give you 4 weeks of Tagesspiegel Plus! To home page