They're not even pretending anymore.
Donald Trump has practically turned Fox News into a fourth branch of government, a disturbing fact that his press secretary openly acknowledged Wednesday.
Fox News wields considerable policy influence over Trump, dutifully doing Trump's propaganda dirty work, but it was nonetheless striking to see Sarah Huckabee Sanders overtly and shamelessly encourage it.
At Wednesday's daily press briefing, Fox News reporter Jon Decker asked Sanders if Trump would try to prevent his former strategist, Steve Bannon, from testifying before a grand jury in the Russia investigation by invoking a claim of executive privilege.
"As you have mentioned many times," Decker said, "as the president has mentioned many times, 'there is no collusion,' why "
"I'm glad you guys are starting to echo that, too," Sanders interrupted. "If you could say it more and more when you're on your networks, that would be really helpful."
"No collusion" has been a fervent mantra of Trump's for months, but it is a flat lie that no one outside of Fox would repeat with a straight face. Even Sanders couldn't help but crack a smile when encouraging Decker to ramp up his use of the phrase.
Fox has been Trump's primary propaganda weapon for a very long time, feeding him terrible policy ideas and conspiracy theories, broadcasting his talking points, and helping to keep his resentful base angry. It was recently revealed that Fox even killed the story of Trump's extramarital affair with a porn star right before the election.
But the time is coming when reporters who stand up to Trump, and refuse to bow to this White House's relentless assaults on the press will have the last laugh. That time should start right around November.