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But, Trump has told friends, he thinks Fox News is “nicer” to him in the post-Ailes era.Fox News host Sean Hannity, meanwhile, is especially close to Trump’s two older sons, as well as to the president.That’s the irony of the whole thing.” West Wing staffers have begun including local news clippings in his morning briefing, said one, noting that an issue such as rolling back environmental regulations may earn the president poor press nationally but a more positive headline — “Trump saves coal jobs,” for example — in a local paper.
And in TV interviews, he sometimes offers tips on matters including lighting and chair placement, with an intuitive sense of what makes for good TV.
“He is very attuned to the fact that cable networks have 24 hours a day that they need to fill — and if you’re interesting, you are gold,” Gingrich said.
Trump’s quotidian viewing is unremarkable, based on his profile.
Fox News’s average prime-time viewer last year, for instance, was 68 years old and mostly white, and the average American watches more than four hours per day, according to Nielsen data.
Trump turns on the television almost as soon as he wakes, then checks in periodically throughout the day in the small dining room off the Oval Office, and continues late into the evening when he’s back in his private residence.
“Once he goes upstairs, there’s no managing him,” said one adviser.
Trump often asks his West Wing staff whether they happened to catch their colleagues’ TV hits, praising dramatically confrontational or cool and smooth appearances.
“He prefers facts and figures; he likes when people are defending but also explaining.
“For all the talk about how the media is so tough on Trump, which they are, the most interesting thing about Trump and the media is that in the end, Trump totally manipulated the media,” said Stephen Moore, an economist for the Heritage Foundation who served as a senior adviser to the Trump campaign.
“The media is why he won — because he completely dominated the media.
Now that he’s in the White House, friends and aides describe a president who still consumes a steady diet of cable news.