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Publisher's Summary

The instant New York Times best seller that reveals the collusion between Fox News and Donald Trump - with explosive new reporting covering the election and the January 6 riot.

As the nation recovers from the Trump presidency, many questions remain: Why was the COVID-19 pandemic so grossly mishandled? How did we get so politically polarized? What caused White nationalist groups to come out of the shadows, and are they here to stay?

The answers lie the twisted story of the relationship between Donald Trump and Fox News. Through firsthand accounts from over 250 current and former Fox insiders, CNN anchor and chief media correspondent Brian Stelter unlocks the inner workings of Rupert Murdoch’s multibillion-dollar media empire. The confessions are shocking: “We don’t really believe all this stuff,” a producer says. “We just tell other people to believe it.”

Stelter completes the story of the Trump years and looks toward the future of the network that made him. Hoax is a book for anyone who reads the news and wonders how we got here, and what happens next.

©2020 Brian Stelter. All rights reserved. (P)2020 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Hoax

Biased? Maybe, some. However, there isn't much you'll hear that isn't true. That's a bit contradictory, but there it is, and if you listen, I believe you'll agree. This book names names. Hannity, Ingrahm, Carlson, Dobbs, even AG Barr. Where are the lawsuits for libel? Crickets. It's all true.

His base will not believe a word.

Hoax covers the Trump/Fox relationship well before his inauguration, early in the campaign, through the COVID pandemic. Slowly, insidiously, the entire staff of Fox became completely obsessed with getting the ear of Trump, repeating whatever they said, propaganda or not, lies or not, in Tweets and policy. Ratings rule. Nothing else matters. NOTHING. The poison at Fox is the reason why legitimate broadcasters left the station, like Shep Smith and others, many behind the scenes. Commentator access to Trump makes you indispensable. Hello, Hannity. Daily phone buddies.

America is governed by Fox commentators, Trump is an obsessive viewer and they know it, as they often speak directly to him, and he usually does what they suggest. President Trump is the president of Fox News listeners - NOT America, he never has been. Fox viewers are 24/7 watchers, hear no other viewpoints, and are deeply Indoctrinated into a cult-like obsession. Frightening.

Jim Jones or David Koresh have nothing on Trump. He's the same type of leader and has created a zombie-like following, using the Fox commentators and viewers..

Shame on you, Fox. Shame.

76 people found this helpful

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Just as I expeccted

I'm not a fan of Trump the person or of Fox News but I am a fan of Trump's successes in both foreign and domestic policy since he took office. HOAX is the work of CNN journalist Brian Stelter. His words tend strongly toward exaggeration and hysteria, but he does a great job narrating. His points about Trump and Fox News distorting the truth are exaggerated but somewhat fair. Those points about Trump and Fox would carry more weight if Stelter did not distort the truth by exaggerating and fabricating many of his claims.

I seldom watch Fox News and Fox Business (I average less than one hour per week and most of that is watching Neil Cavuto's 4 PM Fox news show) but I see lots of video clips online so i buy that some Fox News personalities are in the tank for Trump. Cavuto is definitely anti-Trump while Brett Baier is straight up and fair as is Harris Faulkner in her 11 AM - 1 PM shows. I frequently see Fox White House correspondent John Roberts during press briefings on C-SPAN and he certainly seems balanced. The video segments I see the Sandra Smith, Perino, Hemmer, Ingraham, MacCallum, and Bream shows seem to always include a Democrat spokesperson to plead the anti-Trump case. Chris Wallace on his Sunday show certainly seems more in opposition to Trump than in support of him. So I must assume the major complaints voiced by the author of Hoax is speaking of only Fox and Friends, The Five (which has 4 pro-Trump and one anti-Trump person), Tucker Carlson, and Sean Hannity. Those reliably pro-Trump shows make up 4 hours of a 20 hour live broadcast weekday. (Yes, I found the Fox News weekday program schedule online and counted up the hours of live broadcast.)

There are other cable and broadcast networks that are 100% anti-Trump because if they cannot spin a story against Trump they simply do not report it at all. Those networks are ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN (Stelter's network), and MSNBC. Those 5 networks, each of which I watch much more than Fox News, are all anti-Trump 100% of the time. And then we have the national newspapers of which the New York Times and Washington Post are almost 100% anti-Trump in both their news and editorial pages (the Washington Post does have two weekly op-ed writers who are sometimes pro-Trump while the NYT has two conservative op-ed writers who are also anti-Trump). The Wall Street Journal's news pages are reliably anti-Trump while the editorial pages are conservative with a mix of pro and anti Trump pieces. Finally USA Today is reliably anti-Trump on their news pages but do have a very limited number of pro-Trump op-ed writers.

The prior paragraph summarizes all of the non-Fox mainstream media. Brian Stelter is crying despite 90% being strongly anti-Trump every day and in virtually every way while Fox News (10% of the total) is 20% pro-Trump and 80% neutral or anti-Trump.

If the rest of mainstream media wishes to defang Fox all they need do is start straight up reporting on Donald Trump. They never will of course because they want to defeat him and they are not intelligent enough to change their tactics.

I dislike, even detest, Donald Trump the man. He is not psychologically normal in my opinion. But normal persons do not run for president; at least the most recent 44 presidents have been psychologically abnormal leaving only George Washington who was drafted. Still Trump seems to exaggerate the negative traits more than most presidents.

70 people found this helpful

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Scary but and Interesting Read!!

The author/narrator made it quite clear we do indeed have a communication barrier where our political views are. Being a, (HOPEFULLY) moderate to liberal Democrat, I hope the message I got from this missive was, (though there are tough times ahead), in America as a democracy there is always hope for a better future. Also, as a visually impaired user of Audible, there's hardly any nicer thing than a well written/well narrated book. that's exactly what I got from this one. Brian, I believe was fair and informative. If a person wishes to read a good Halloween story, unfortunately this is a fine one for that. The truth is sometimes hard to listen to and believe. THANK YOU BRIAN! I don't sleep well anymore anyway.

58 people found this helpful

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Excellent Read

I wish everyone would read this book. I often wonder how supposedly sane Americans could possibly support such a mendacious, divisive, narcissistic person to lead the country. Reading this book gives me a better understanding of how people can literally get brain washed. Rupert Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch, Sean Hannity and Donald Trump all have blood on their hands.

55 people found this helpful

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An answer filled horror story

Stelter does an amazing job telling the story of Foxnews. Clearly, this book was extensively researched and had an obscene amount of interviews and emails to support the claims. I imagine that Hoax will be a must read historical document in 50 years, assuming America is still around and survived Trump. And as much as this book is a narrative around Trump, it spends more time focused on how Trump became Trump rather than just constantly complaining about him.

I really enjoyed the book and will buy the next Stelter as well.

42 people found this helpful

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Eye opening

I’ve been following the misinformation campaign from Fox News since the 2016 campaign baving Brian Stelter lay it all out, with his behind the scenes information, really put it all into perspective. I have friends who think that Fox is the truth and nothing but the truth and all other media outlets lie. I wish they would open their eyes and their minds and listen to this book. I’ll share it with them. But unfortunately I don’t think it will help.

36 people found this helpful

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The first sentence is a lie. The rest is gossip

I love how he uses Buzzfeed as a source. They used to write articles on like top 10 celebrity goofs. Hah he writes "Trump said New York didnt need 30,000 ventilators OMG! Well...they ended up not needing them but thats because of all the brave health care workers". Even when the President is right, he's wrong lol. This guy is a clown. I wonder if he actually believes the things he writes, or is a paid misinformation 'journalist'.

Trump was correct about corona virus. The average age of covid deaths is 81. Only 6% of deaths are from the virus only. The rest were old people who would have died soon from pre-existing diseases such as leukemia, cancer etc. These numbers are posted on the CDC website. If fake news didn't make it real, I doubt anyone would have noticed a new flu existed. oh ya, Australia didn't have a flu this year...it was all corona virus. Just a coincidence i guess because the news said so.

Fake news is real. To prove it to yourself, just look at the numbers, not the emotional rhetoric shoved down our throats by the mainstream media. When the news gives a percentage such as "600% increase in virus cases", make sure they tell you the actual number. 6 cases is 600% increase from 1 case. Notice how they never tell the age of people who die unless they are young (which there were 240 below 25 years old if i remember correctly from last week). It's always the ones doing the crimes that blame it on the opponent. Now Trump is being blamed.

This book is gossip and rumors supposedly said by news anchors. Nothing is verified, no sources, just one man's recollection of chats he had over like 5 years. Is there a transcript, any record that what is claimed in the book is true? I believe this is mostly one man's opinion using his memory of conversations as supporting umm... evidence?

No need to provide actual numbers or verifiable data such as Trump Presidency resulting in the lowest unemployment in 50 years, and lowest ever for some minorities. No mention of preventing wars with North Korea or Iran. No mention of immediately letting people keep 10% more of their paychecks. No mention of actually doing the things he campaigned on, probably the first president to actually do so.

Why is talking to Putin bad? Should he be going to war with Russia instead? Trump has created trust and improved relationships with many nations we previously had tension with. Notice we are not staring down North Korea nukes anymore, Why is that bad? There is no logic in this book, just flaring up of emotions.

The PERFORMANCE was like a child saying 'na na na na boo boo' on the playground.

The STORY was not for me. But if you want to hear the soap opera-like gossip of insignificant actors 'news anchors' and Fox, CNN, I dunno more news channels. Fox and friends. lets throw Al roker in there. Then this book is for you. Or, if you are already programmed to hate Trump for.... what was the reason again?...then this Facebook wall-like 'book' will help reinforce what you already believe. I suffered through this to expose myself to both sides and it confirmed my belief also. Fake news takes advantage of the honest american to the commands of their billionaire masters. Trump is bad because hes friends with news people, but Obama is good to play golf/basketball/dinners with Hollywood celebrities just so you know.

I'm not really sure what this book is about other than reporters bickering with one another. Who cares. Give us some quantitative info to form our opinions, dont make them for us. I suppose I should This is an example of why people dont watch the news anymore; It doesn't actually provide information, just opinions. And like I said, the VERY FIRST SENTENCE IS A LIE!

A desperate attempt to manipulate peoples emotions for a cheap vote. The scale of corruption in our country is just unfathomable, infecting the TV, censored internet, now even books. I hope we can save whats left of our country before the 'vaccines' become mandatory.

33 people found this helpful

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Fox is such a swamp

Love the book, great inside info on the swamp fox is. Great listen and well read by Brain.

31 people found this helpful

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Clarifies the origin of mistruths and disinformati

Yes I knew Trump watched a lot of TV coverage, and occasionally something from Fox was said by him. But this greatly clarified the depth and frequency of where some of the ideas started and how much the Fox diet helps Trump and viewers have a different view of reality.

29 people found this helpful

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A little thin in parts but still really good

Due to unnamed sources(understandably) the book lacks the kind of power it could have with some names to quotes to help shine the light on the hypocrisy behind the scenes at Fox News. Overall it doesn’t paint a very different picture than what we already knew or assumed, but Brian does a good job laying it all out in a compelling way that’s easy to digest.

I’ve listened to a ton of political audiobooks while working and Brian’s performance is probably the most energetic and enthusiastic I’ve heard in this genre. It gives the book itself an overall personality that make it shine in this format. It’ll even probably affect how I read his tweets from now on.

Overall a worthwhile listen for any news or political junkie in 2020 and compelling enough that I’ll be purchasing a physical copy for my collection. I don’t know anything about how this book came to be, but the final product feels like a passion project, and that’s saying something given how bleak and toxic the subject matter of Fox News and its culture can be.

24 people found this helpful