Fox News is Donald Trump's 'De Facto Ministry of Truth,' Ex-CIA Analyst Says

Fox News is President Donald Trump's "de facto ministry of truth," a former senior CIA analyst wrote in column Wednesday arguing that Trump's media strategy channels the Old Bolsheviks.

In his column in MediaVillage, Kent Harrington, who served as national intelligence officer for East Asia, chief of station in Asia and the CIA's public affairs director, said that Trump is "frontally assaulting professional reporters and their work."

"Like the Red Army's use of massed artillery barrages in World War Two, the goal is obvious: to pound the enemy—in this case, the Fourth Estate—into the ground," Harrington wrote.

But Trump has also found "compliant media," he wrote.

"Fox News, an all but an official White House outlet, remains his on-air home as well as de facto ministry of truth," Harrington claimed. "Despite criticism from a few marquee names when he strays from the far right fringe, talk radio's hosts and their station management remain mouthpieces eager to repeat the lines Trump inserts."

With Robert Mueller's Russia probe concluded and finding no collusion, Harrington opined that "there's little doubt their sycophancy will only strengthen as Trump claims victory and seeks revenge."

Donald Trump’s attacks on the press are channeling a revolutionary who knew that his success depended on bringing the media of his era to heel and then controlling them. The damage done in Trump’s case is to our democracy.

— kentmharrington (@kentmharrington) March 27, 2019

Harrington is far from the first to point out Trump's close relationship with Fox News with concern.

Earlier this month, The New Yorker published a piece titled, "The Making of The Fox News White House," stating that the conservative channel has always been partisan, and exploring how it evolved to borderline "propaganda."

Jerry Taylor, co-founder of Niskanen Center, a previously libertarian and now moderate think tank, suggested in the story that Fox News provided a layer of protection for Trump with respect to the Mueller report, which at the time had not been released.

"With Fox News covering his back with the Republican base, he has a fighting chance, because he has something no other president in American history has ever had at his disposal—a servile propaganda operation," Taylor said.

Trump has made his appreciation of Fox News well known. The president regularly compliments the conservative network while bashing competitors including CNN and MSNBC.

The president granted an exclusive one-on-one interview on Wednesday night to Fox News host Sean Hannity. Hannity is on the president's list of clearered callers at the White House and talks to him several times a day, The New Yorker reported last May. Hannity previously joined Trump at a rally, leading a former host with the network, Greta Van Susteren, to call it an "egregious mistake."

Fox News Channel and radio talk show host Sean Hannity (L) interviews President Donald Trump before a campaign rally at the Las Vegas Convention Center on September 20, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fox News is Trump's "de facto ministry of truth," former CIA analyst Kent Harrington wrote. Ethan Miller/Getty Images