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Publisher's Summary

Instant New York Times best seller

An NPR Best Book of the Year

"A thorough and damning exploration of the incestuous relationship between Trump and his favorite channel." (The New York Times)

"A Rosetta Stone for stuff about this presidency that doesn’t otherwise make sense to normal humans." (Rachel Maddow, MSNBC)

"Stelter’s critique goes beyond salacious tidbits about extramarital affairs (though there are plenty of those) to expose a collusion that threatens the pillars of our democracy." (The Washington Post)

The urgent and untold story of the collusion between Fox News and Donald Trump from the New York Times best-selling author of Top of the Morning.

While other leaders were marshaling resources to combat the greatest pandemic in modern history, President Donald Trump was watching TV. Trump watches more than six hours of Fox News a day, a habit his staff refers to as "executive time". In January 2020, when Fox News began to downplay COVID-19, the president was quick to agree. In March, as the deadly virus spiraled out of control, Sean Hannity mocked "coronavirus hysteria" as a "new hoax" from the left. Millions of Americans took Hannity and Trump's words as truth - until some of them started to get sick.

In Hoax, CNN anchor and chief media correspondent Brian Stelter tells the twisted story of the relationship between Donald Trump and Fox News. 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. Over the course of two years, Stelter spoke with more than 250 current and former Fox insiders in an effort to understand the inner workings of Rupert Murdoch's multibillion-dollar media empire. Some of the confessions are alarming. "We don't really believe all this stuff," a producer says. "We just tell other people to believe it."

At the center of the story lies Sean Hannity, a college dropout who, following the death of Fox News mastermind Roger Ailes, reigns supreme at the network that pays him $30 million a year. Stelter describes the raging tensions inside Fox between the Trump loyalists and the few remaining journalists. He reveals why former chief news anchor Shep Smith resigned in disgust in 2019; why a former anchor said, "If I stay here I’ll get cancer"; and how Trump has exploited the leadership vacuum at the top to effectively seize control of the network.

Including never before reported details, Hoax exposes the media personalities who, though morally bankrupt, profit outrageously by promoting the president’s propaganda and radicalizing the American right. It is a book for anyone who reads the news and wonders: How did this happen?

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

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What listeners say about Hoax

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Incredibly Amazing

Best book on current events by far. Made it easier to understand the fuckshow we're all involved. Here we get a glimpse at the behind the scenes propaganda and fake news creators and enablers. The worst president in the history of Murica and Fu#k Fox News aka: The Trump Network! Great job and thank you for making it easier to comprehend reality. From Canada with Love

5 people found this helpful

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Better off reading the book

I found the author's reading of the book over dramatic. His exaggerated use of sarcasm became irritating initially, and I would have stopped listening except that the information was interesting, so I soldiered on.

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Fascinating and disturbing

fascinating and disturbing is exactly what I felt. How we arrived here is clearer then before I listened.

2 people found this helpful

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Someone else's sycophant

I came out of this book really being anxious about the feedback loop between Fox News and Trump. The informed analysis of this relationship is worth the charge of admission. You do find a number of other interesting insights into politics of journalism and journalism of politics. I did not find myself enamored with the author, as one often does. but that was not his goal. He is occasionally snide and slightly bitter, but his insider perspective is worth the moments of confusion and dislike.

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Great book if you really listen.

I went into this book with an open mind and found that it was well written and factual. It may not be agreeable to all but the facts remain the same. I would recommend it to anybody with an open mind to see both sides.

1 person found this helpful

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Author as Narrator is a Great Presentation!

Always professional, Stelter performs his own work in his reliable and enthusiastic style. The revelations and anecdotes are interesting and any news junkie, regardless of political persuasion, will find the Fox News history fascinating.

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A snapshot of the accidental destruction of USA

Read (or listen to) this very thorough examination of "WTF hapoened?!!" I know psyops and the role of propaganda. Trump is (was) a symptom of the cancer that will kill the Constitutional USA if left untreated. The (relatively new) information age handed a grenade to a child by providing self-feeding info-loops of things people want to hear (eg: Fox "News'). Useful in creating power bases but converting those people to merely a stable.of beasts of burden.

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Thoroughly enjoyed the book.

Eye opening and sometimes jaw dropping facts on the actual behind the scenes relationship between Trump and certain facets of Fox. A must read/listen if you are curious on who is actually running the US government.

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Interesting and Informative

A very important insight on what is happening in America. Any person that can think for themselves should listen to this book and better understand how a few individuals can create a situation where America is in right now. This is a very good history of what has happened at Fox and how it is led to some of the decisions the present US leadership has made.

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An excellent listen - a historical fact!

There will be those who will decry HOAX as "Fake News" and as "a hoax". Those are the people who generally don't like it when actual, true news is reported about them. One of those people who is quick to use the word "Hoax" - it's virtually on the tip of his tongue ready for deployment, is POTUS 45, Donald Trump. Brian Stelter is a reporter who examines the intricate role that FOX NEWS had in making a President. This is good stuff! Well worth the listen!!!

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  • BookReader
  • 2020-08-27

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.

46 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-08-26

Biden 2020

This is literally just another thing that hurts Trump!! Why do people think that he is fit for office!??!? As for the book... ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ this book is amazing... next thing you know... kellyanne Conway is writing a book.

46 people found this helpful

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  • Melvin
  • 2020-08-28

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.

42 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-08-28

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.

40 people found this helpful

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  • Lindsey
  • 2020-08-31

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.

29 people found this helpful

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  • Sandra P.
  • 2020-08-31

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.

25 people found this helpful

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  • Joel H Szklarski
  • 2020-08-26

Fox is such a swamp

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

20 people found this helpful

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  • Ian L. Kasprzak
  • 2020-08-29

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.

19 people found this helpful

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  • joshofitall
  • 2020-08-26

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.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-09-01

nothing to see here

I will save you some time , if your from the right then don't waste your money . if your on the left , this is a good dose of red meat even if it's bullshit from a cnn flunkie

17 people found this helpful