The United States, unlike North Korea and other nations President Donald Trump admires, does not have an official state media channel where the federal government can push propaganda.
But since his 2016 campaign, Trump has spoken as though he does have an official state media in Fox News.
While many of the opinion programs on the network helmed by Trump acolytes such as Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson do spout whatever the latest Trump rhetoric dictates, the news branch of the network often fails to march in lock step with them. When rhetoric and reality collide, the President is never pleased.
On Tuesday, Trump launched another Twitter tirade against Fox News for allowing someone to criticize him on its air. The catalyst for the latest tantrum was an appearance by Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland on America's Newsroom.
The President tweeted:
"Really pathetic how [Fox News] is trying to be so politically correct by loading the airwaves with Democrats like Chris Van Hollen, the no name Senator from Maryland. He has been on forever playing up the Impeachment Hoax."
Trump then cited TV ratings as if government was a giant reality show with the sole goal being high ratings.
"Dems wouldn't even give Fox their low ratings debates."
The President then asked "what the hell has happened" to inspire Fox News to allow anyone to criticize him on their network.
"So, what the hell has happened to @FoxNews. Only I know!"
"Chris Wallace and others should be on Fake News CNN or MSDNC. How's Shep Smith doing?"
Trump finally predicted the demise of Fox News—again—if they continue to defy his programming wishes.
"Watch, this will be the beginning of the end for Fox, just like the other two which are dying in the ratings. Social Media is great!"
Really pathetic how @FoxNews is trying to be so politically correct by loading the airwaves with Democrats like Chr… https://t.co/OfLSiCjbsj— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1580226296.0
.....So, what the hell has happened to @FoxNews. Only I know! Chris Wallace and others should be on Fake News CNN o… https://t.co/k4Csq4Hw2k— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1580226297.0
People couldn't help but comment on the tone of the tweets.
@4everNeverTrump @realDonaldTrump @FoxNews Can we say Florida Man yet since he changed his primary residence to there?— spaze_cat (@spaze_cat)1580233428.0
@realDonaldTrump @FoxNews You sound terrified that the truth sometimes seeps through at your propaganda network.— D Villella ❄️ (@D Villella ❄️)1580228302.0
But the guest who triggered the latest presidential tweet storm took the opportunity to troll the President.
Senator Van Hollen shared the Trump tweet and invited the President to visit his own impeachment trial to testify.
"Glad you tuned in, Mr. President."
"Now that I have your attention, how about coming down to the Senate to share your side of the story under penalty of perjury?"
Glad you tuned in, Mr. President. Now that I have your attention, how about coming down to the Senate to share y… https://t.co/NNwEtdv0td— Senator Chris Van Hollen (@Senator Chris Van Hollen)1580230402.0
@ChrisVanHollen @PaulDereume Senator Van Hollen just slam-dunked that ball so hard the backboard shattered in Agent Orange's face.— Lobo Solitario (@Lobo Solitario)1580242188.0
The Maryland Senator later shared video of Fox News coverage, tagged the President and asked:
"I believe all Americans deserve the truth, regardless of political party or what cable network shows they watch."
"Let me know which facts you disagree with from my interview on Fox, [President Donald Trump]."
"Don't you want the whole truth and nothing but the truth?"
I believe all Americans deserve the truth, regardless of political party or what cable network shows they watch.… https://t.co/e6K1ICqG1F— Senator Chris Van Hollen (@Senator Chris Van Hollen)1580242576.0
@ChrisVanHollen WE want the truth - bring in Bolton! I am not paying taxes so that Trump can make major league, i… https://t.co/d7aEjajJXU— EmmaDawn591 (@EmmaDawn591)1580251279.0
Trump got little sympathy or support in his comments.
@realDonaldTrump @FoxNews 😂😂😂 Trump vs. FoxNews https://t.co/ffwMVf4lHd— Clear Cider (@Clear Cider)1580230018.0
@realDonaldTrump @FoxNews Touched a nerve, I see... https://t.co/PnjzAenhUL— CountryOverConman (@CountryOverConman)1580227246.0
@realDonaldTrump @FoxNews There's no hoax. You are impeached. That's on your permanent record. It's never going aw… https://t.co/NueAKci9rN— lawhawk (@lawhawk)1580226987.0
Others noted the President's propensity to turn on allies when they show less than abject devotion.
@realDonaldTrump @FoxNews Remember when this guy testified under oath that you always burn everyone who supports yo… https://t.co/l1p1L1G50Y— KevinlyFather 🇺🇲🇨🇦🇲🇼🇸🇿 (@KevinlyFather 🇺🇲🇨🇦🇲🇼🇸🇿)1580226957.0
@realDonaldTrump @FoxNews https://t.co/zgRRiKhKKi— Stacy~TheUSAisBroken (@Stacy~TheUSAisBroken)1580228051.0
While some debated something else Trump should write instead of another tweet.
@TrumpNewsPolls @kristenresists @realDonaldTrump @FoxNews A resignation would be definitive, and welcome. But, impe… https://t.co/aZWqP5XqXg— Georgia Bad Boy (@Georgia Bad Boy)1580232733.0
The trial of President Donald Trump—the third President to ever be impeached and the first to be impeached during his first term—continues. What information will or will not be allowed by a Republican controlled Senate remains to be seen.