Trump and Fox News is a modern love story, and nowhere is that more apparent than on Trump’s Instagram account. According to a new analysis by CNN, the president’s instagram account was comprised of almost 24 percent reposts from the news network between May 22 and August 22 of 2018. Of the 358 Trump posts during that time, 85 of them were Fox reposts.
We all know that Trump absolutely adores Fox News, which he spends hour watching every day. He particularly loves “Fox & Friends,” so much so that he often tweets whatever he just heard their hosts say, and political operatives have attempted to influence him by buying ads to air during the show.
However, these Instagram posts may have a different origin. From the captions and general demeanor of the account, which is generally sober and professional, it’s clear that Trump isn’t running the account himself. What this data means, then, is that whoever is running Trump’s account is looking for easy content that won’t anger their boss, and Fox News is happily filling that role.
Most of the reposts from Fox that appear on Trump’s Instagram account are merely photos of Trump with a recent tweet of his underneath. This creates, as CNN puts it, a “social media feedback loop.” Trump watches “Fox & Friends” and tweets what he hears them talk about, Fox then creates a quick graphic of the tweet and posts it to Instragram, and Trump’s team reposts it. The great circle of life continues.
CNN notes that early on in Trump’s presidency, his tweets repurposed for Instagram had little visual consistency, with several different formats appearing. Now, it seems that Trump and Fox News have either consciously or unconsciously aligned their aesthetics, so that the posts appear seamless whether it’s on the Fox News account or Trump’s account.
This streamlining lends some credence to those who call Fox News a de facto state media operation. At the very least, it shows that Fox is well aware of how these posts will be used. Using these posts also requires almost no work on the part of Trump’s social team. Easy content is available for all. Everyone wins!
Just kidding, everyone loses.