Tarkanian revels in defending Trump as Fox News contributor, notices change in Fox 'tone'

News - June 27, 2017

By Ray Hagar
Nevada Newsmakers

Amy Tarkanian, the former chair of the Nevada Republican Party and a current contributor to Fox News and Fox Business, said Tuesday on Nevada Newsmakers that she has "noticed a change in tone" in some of the Fox programming.

Recently, former Fox co-president Bill Shine resigned, former CEO Roger Ailes was ousted amid charges of sexual harassment before passing away and the Fox star, Bill O’Reilly left, also after sexual allegation claims.

"I didn't have any relationship with those folks but I have noticed a change in tone with some of the programming, which has been interesting," Tarkanian said on Newsmakers. "I have noticed a little bit more of the moderate voices being invited. Now I would not consider myself exactly a moderate but I have noticed that more of their guests do tend to lean more moderate or liberal side. So that has been a little concerning."

She also like her air time on Fox.

"I have been enjoying every minute of it," she said. "When I was chair, I was able to go on multiple times with people like Charles Payne, Stuart Varney and Lou Dobbs and now they have me on -- oh my gosh -- one to three time a week. So I am really enjoying this relationship I have with Fox and Fox Business."

Tarkanian also said she found it difficult to watch MSNBC, even though the liberal-leaning news station recently ranked number one in both total viewers and the key adults 25-54 demographic during prime time for a full week, according to Nielsen data.

"I cant understand why," she said. "I know it is good to listen to other opinions and watch other people's ideas and hear them out. But I have a tough time watching them on a regular basis."

Tarkanian is a strong supporter of President Donald Trump and revels in her position as a Fox contributor.

"I'm enjoying my position of being the voice who does support the POTUS," she said. "The media does not want to favor that side so I like being that one sore thumb, I guess you could call me."

Tarkanian was not surprised, however, when Trump called major players in the American mainstream media -- CNN, The New York Times and NBC News, "the enemy of the people" in a tweet.

"No, that didn't surprise me," Tarkanian said. "He is very vocal. He's very blatant. He's bold in most of his statements and he is not polished. So that doesn't surprise me at all."

On Trump's tweets, Tarkanian said, "I know some people like his tweeting. Some people are not big fans."

"I'm torn," she added. "Those who do like his tweets, they like the fact that he can go over the media and let's face it, the Washington media was never going to be his friend. It just didn't matter if he played nice with them or not. He could say the sky is blue and they'd say, 'Oh my gosh, did you hear that idiot? The sky is cornflower blue. It is not regular blue. So it didn't matter what he said. He's just having to learn how to go over their heads. I just wish he wouldn't do it (tweet) as often."

In Las Vegas, Trump has "brilliant business people" such as Steve Wynn, Sheldon Adelson, Phil Ruffin and Tom Barrack who are his friends, noted Newsmakers host Sam Shad. He asked Tarkanian what is the public missing in Trump that these people see?

"I don't want to call him a business shark but he is very savvy," Tarkanian said of Trump. "He is two to five steps ahead of you and I.

"Maybe it doesn't seem that way because a lot of people knock his vocabulary as not being the most extensive but the guy is sharp," Tarkanian said of Trump. "And so by the time he has already done 10 tweets or made five business deals, I'm just waking up in the morning. He obviously has got a lot of experience that helped him get to the place he is at now. And if  he's this close with all these brilliant business people, then I think we need to maybe take a step back and learn a little thing or two from him."

On state politics, Tarkanian said Attorney General Adam Laxalt would not be wounded by the recent stories about gaming regulator A.G. Burnett secretly taping Laxalt when he met privately with Burnett, asking him to intervene in a court case on behalf of Laxalt's largest contributor, Las Vegas Sands boss Sheldon Adelson. Burnett turned the tapes over to the FBI but the FBI found no reason to act.

I think he is going to still be OK," Tarkanian said. "That definitely was worrisome, when you would read the stories in the newspaper, it certainly didn't sound great.

"But you know, it seemed like you had the other side that was trying to set him up. So I think he is gonna still come out OK. He is very well liked among the base. he is very well like nationally. He is going to have a ton of money supporting him coming from Nevada and also outside of Nevada. He's going to be incredibly difficult to beat, still in the end I believe."

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