Donald Trump has been talking with Hannity in the background and outloud….
His comments will be coming back to him in future civil and criminal cases…
He doesn’t care even if his lawyers tell him to STFU….
What Fox News gets out of all this is clear: viewers. What Trump gets out of it is also clear: the attention he craves, which also helps him remain the most prominent Republican in the nation — which helps his chances of winning the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 if he wants it.
What the Republican Party gets out of this is … well, nothing good. To begin with, boosting the chances of a candidate who may well wind up under federal indictment, and remains unpopular except with the most intense Republican voters (and, given his many scandals, is likely to remain so), doesn’t help the party. Most of the time, when its candidate loses a presidential election, a political party moves on — and that’s with a candidate untouched by scandal.
As for the long-term effects on the party and its voters — well, that’s nothing good, either. Think about what Republican-aligned media — not just Fox News, but other TV, talk radio and online outlets — are teaching Republican voters. As the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent noted after watching Trump’s performance on Hannity, what viewers are experiencing is the “hermetically sealed-off Fox News universe, where actual legal arguments against him were treated as if they simply don’t exist.”
But the worst effects may be on Republican politicians. The lesson they’re getting is that, within the party, anything goes. They don’t have to come up with strong arguments to defend themselves or their ideas — they can just say any fool thing, and party-aligned media will treat it as if it’s brilliant. They are also learning that, especially on Fox News, it’s dangerous to speak out about even very obvious wrongdoing by anyone in the party….