CNN anchor: Fox News' 'fear to confront Donald Trump' is 'a form of Stockholm syndrome'

CNN anchor: Fox News' 'fear to confront Donald Trump' is 'a form of Stockholm syndrome'
CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 29: U.S. President Donald Trump participates in the first presidential debate against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, moderated by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace at the Health Education Campus of Case Western Reserve University on September 29, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. This is the first of three planned debates between the two candidates in the lead-up to the election on November 3. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images).

On Monday's edition of CNN This Morning, the outlet's senior political analyst John Avlon tore into Fox News for not having the guts to tell its audience that former President Donald Trump's conspiracy theories about the 2020 election were lies that its on-air pundits privately admitted they did not believe.

"The New York Times is reporting that Fox News' CEO Suzanne Scott said that they should have changed their coverage of the election results for bigger ratings saying in part this to The New York Times, 'listen,' -- this is what The New York Times' reporting, -- 'Listen, it's one of the sad realities: If we hadn't called Arizona, those three or four days following Election Day, our ratings would have been bigger, Ms. Scott said. The mystery would have still been hanging out there.' Is that a fair assessment of a so-called news network?" host Don Lemon asked Avlon.

"No, of course, not even a little bit. I mean this New York Times article by Peter Baker, as Poppy points out, is details and conversation inside Fox News, among executives, in the days after the election where they're lamenting the fact that they followed the facts," Avlon responded.

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"Well, he saw a Zoom, of them saying..." co-host Poppy Harlow began.

"Yeah, so they got the receipts. These were not characterizations of comments, these are comments," Avlon noted.

"These are supposedly their news folks who are saying, 'maybe we should have considered' talking about MacCallum and Baier," Lemon added.

"In some ways, Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum are the people who the network points to be their real news anchors. And indeed there are some bonafides in that direction, as a contrast to their opinion anchors," Avlon explained.

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"What this conversation shows is Martha MacCallum saying, well, 'in this Trump environment, maybe we shouldn't follow the facts so fast.' That's incredibly dangerous," he stressed.

"I think the curtain has been pulled back by this lawsuit on the fact this is not a news organization. This is a partisan operation primarily. But the fates of Fox News, the fear they have of their base, the fear of losing ratings – which is also about greed – is a parallel to what we're seeing inside the Republican party right now. The fear to confront Donald Trump. It's a form of Stockholm syndrome," Avlon opined. "They're all afraid to tell the truth, even though they know it to be the truth, and that's not just bad for the Republican party. That's bad for the republic. That's what we need to focus on right now."

Watch below via Media Matters for America or at this link.

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