PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hello, Rupert. How’re you doing?
RUPERT MURDOCK: Fine, Donald. Just fine. What’s up?
POTUS: Fox News here.
RM: Fox News? What about it?
POTUS: You know I’m a faithful fan.
RM: Of course, Donald. I appreciate that.
POTUS: But I notice some changes.
RM: Changes? Well, you know I had to remove some…
POTUS: No, not that. Although you shouldn’t have removed anybody. You’re just giving license to those women who are making accusations. They’re giving men a bad time.
RM: Well, Donald, sometimes you and I have to do something we don’t want to do. It’s the public. And that includes women.
POTUS: Yeah. Unfortunately. Anyway, Fox News.
POTUS: I notice that it’s not always for me like it was.
RM: Well, it wasn’t always for you. We have news programs. Sometimes they go your way, sometimes they don’t.
POTUS: It’s that ‘sometimes don’t’ I’m talking about. Hannity, he’s fine. Carlson Tucker, usually he’s fine. But that Chris Wallace.
RM: Chris’s program is news, Donald. He tries to get at the truth.
POTUS: Truth? Maybe you haven’t watched him lately. He’s not after the truth. He got Rudy on there, and Rudy couldn’t answer his questions. Rudy’s my lawyer, do you know that?
RM: Yes, Donald, I do. A good man Rudy is.
POTUS: Damn right. But Wallace made him look like he’s hiding something. Actually I couldn’t figure out what Rudy was saying. Wallace got him all confused. He sounded like that woman, that Palin woman.
RM: Sarah Palin?
POTUS: Yeah, her. You know she talks, and I can’t figure out what the hell she’s talking about.
RM: Maybe you should talk to Rudy. He needs to get his message straight.
POTUS: No, I’m not talking to Rudy. He’s doing a great job. Nobody has a greater lawyer than Rudy Giuliani. He’s the greatest.
RM: I’m sure he is.
POTUS: So I’m not talking to him. I’m talking to you, and I want you to shape up Fox News like it was before. Hannity, Tucker, that’s fine. Great people. But Coulter. You know Coulter?
RM: Of course. Ann Coulter. What’s the problem?
POTUS: She’s gone soft on me. I say things, and she doesn’t take to them every time like she did. She doesn’t do news. She doesn’t have to act like some news person. Actually, I say she’s getting into the fake news business.
RM: You’re right. She isn’t news. But she does have her own opinions. I don’t know why she’s going soft on you.
POTUS: I want you to talk to her. Tell her what’s good for her.
RM: I try not to dictate. Ann wouldn’t like that.
POTUS: Listen, Rupert, you hired them and you pay them. They damn well should do what you want them to do.
RM: I do try to have influence.
POTUS: I’m not talking influence. I’m talking performance. I want them to perform like they were. You don’t want Fox News to be a loser, do you?
RM: No, of course not.
POTUS: Then you need to get it back in shape. If I can make America great again, you can make Fox News great again.
RM: Good line, Donald. Great line. But I’ve got two problems.
POTUS: Just two, Rupert. How do you have just two?
RM: Two is enough, Donald. You should know that.
POTUS: If only I could have two.
RM: Well, that’s another matter. Problem one is that critics are getting harder on us.
POTUS: Critics? You ignore them. They’re nothing but a bunch of losers.
RM: Some are, I’m sure. But they do have audiences.
POTUS: Also losers. They’re all losers.
RM: But they are audience. You can lose audience, but you’ll never lose your base. With us, audience is base. We lose audience, and we lose money. Advertisers are very tight.
POTUS: Advertisers? Hey, I made a lot of money for NBC on ‘The Apprentice.’
RM: I’m sure you did. You were great.
POTUS: Absolutely. One of the most successful programs in the history of television. You know that, don’t you?
RM: Oh yes, Donald, one of the most successful.
POTUS: Then you need to keep making Fox News the most successful cable channel. It was when I was elected and inaugurated.
RM: That was then, Donald. The Mueller investigation, those court investigations, the House and the Senate, their investigative committees. They’re taking a toll. And Rudy’s strange-speak isn’t helping.
POTUS: Rupert, believe me. It’s all fake. The Russian investigation is a hoax. Sponsored by the Democrat Party. The House and Senate, I’ve got them under control. Believe me. Mitch McConnell, he’s my Fido. I feed him, and he barks. No problem.
RM: And the House? With Nancy Pelosi taking over?
POTUS: Nancy Pelosi? Look, I know she talks big talk. But remember, I’m the dealmaker. I can make a deal with anybody. Pelosi has things she needs. I have things I need. She’ll not cross the line. Believe me, she will not cross the line.
RM: Well, for your sake, I hope not. But that still doesn’t help our ratings. Or our reputation. I do want to run a respectable news operation.
POTUS: Respectable? Rupert, you’re not respectable when you allow Chris Wallace to get Rudy all tangled up. You’re not respectable when Coulter doubts some of the things I say. And that Geraldo Rivera. I shudder every time I see him. I never know what’s going to come out of his mouth.
RM: Donald, let me tell you, Ann, Geraldo, Sean, they all have opinions. Mostly in line with you. But I can’t script them. I don’t want to dictate what they believe or say.
POTUS: Rupert, I’m disappointed. I really thought you were my friend. You know we have been friends for many years.
RM: Yes, Donald, and we will continue to be friends. You have to do what you must to run your presidency. I have to do what I must to run my media companies. Fair?
POTUS: No, Rupert. Not fair.