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CNN's Brian Stelter Asks, ‘State-Run Media, Or Media-Run State?’

With Sean Hannity on Time's 100 List, and The Washington Post reporting Hannity's metaphorical "desk" in the Oval Office, it's hard to tell.

The panel on Brian Stelter's "Reliable Sources" marveled at the symbiotic relationship between Trump's administration and Fox News. Sean Hannity, in particular, has historically outsized influence on Donnie's utterances and even his policies, according to Sarah Ellison, who wrote about it in The Washington Post.

Naturally, politicians and their work and behavior are fodder for what the news stations run. (Not that I'm confusing Fox for a "news" station, mind you - many of their anchors won't even do that...) But what makes this weird and frightening is that in Trump's case, he's letting the media help him shape POLICY. Relying on them to do that, even. Stelter credited Nicolle Wallace of MSNBC for making the observation first: Fox News is running our country.

ELLISON: Yes, I would say that the funny thing about that relationship is that it goes both ways. So, Donald Trump is actually helping produce what Sean Hannity and the message that he's delivering. And the funny thing about it though is that Sean Hannity is also helping produce the president's messages --


ELLISON: -- which I think was one of the things that my colleagues and I thought was the most sort of surprising about this story.

Later on in the segment, CNN Political Analyst John Avlon agrees:

We've never had media outlets staffing an administration to the extent -- literally, the extent to the Fox News and Breitbart have in this administration.

And with Hannity, this idea of him producing the presidency and rumor of Trump TV was plan B for the president, this enormously dynamic relationship -- of course, it should be divulged. But there's really nothing quite like it in American history and it ends up demeaning the independence of the good reporters at Fox, people like Bret Baier and Shep Smith and other folks who are trying to play it straight and do it right.

This is out -- this is this is unlike anything we've seen in American history. There's no obvious parallel.

Hannity even made it onto Time's 100 List - a testament to breadth of his influence. Ed Feisenthal, from Time, defended the choice, citing Ellison's article, and the fact that he has three hours of radio time and one hour of TV time every day. He helped sew up the nomination and the election for Trump.

All Donny has ever known is wealth, facades, and fake TV. It follows logic that now that he holds the office he never planned to hold, he'd rely on the others to do the work for him who know wealth, facades and fake TV, right? Sounds like a job for Sean Hannity if I ever heard one.

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