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CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter’s forthcoming book about the nexus between Fox News Channel and the Trump administration will have a newsy focus, telling the story of the network’s sometimes skeptical coverage of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The book, titled Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth, is based on interviews conducted with “over 250 current and former Fox News insiders,” and will be released on Aug. 25 by One Signal Publishers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster’s Altria Books.
With a particular focus on primetime host Sean Hannity, who used the word “hoax” in describing the response to the pandemic, the publishers say the book “exposes the media personalities who, though morally bankrupt, profit outrageously by promoting the president’s propaganda and radicalizing the American right.” (Simon & Schuster’s Threshold Editions imprint will publish a book by Hannity on Aug. 4).
“We don’t really believe all this stuff,” a network producer told Stelter for the book. “We just tell other people to believe it.”
The book will also tell the inside story of anchor Shepard Smith’s abrupt resignation from the channel in October 2019 after clashing with opinion host Tucker Carlson.
Announced in June 2019, well before the spread of the pandemic in the United States, the book was originally slated to focus more broadly on the close relationship between the network and the president, who once had a guest spot on the morning show Fox & Friends.
“In Hoax, CNN anchor and chief media correspondent Brian Stelter tells the twisted story of the decades-long relationship between Donald Trump and Fox News,” according to the book’s flap. “From the moment Trump glided down the golden escalator to announce his candidacy in the 2016 presidential election to his acquittal on two articles of impeachment in early 2020, Fox hosts spread his lies and smeared his enemies.”
Hannity and Carlson have both targeted Stelter, and CNN boss Jeff Zucker, with their highly rated nightly commentary.
Top of the Morning, Stelter’s first book, was published in 2013 and focused on the competitive world of broadcast morning shows. Jay Carson adapted the book into the Apple TV+ series The Morning Show starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell.
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