According to a New York Times report, former Fox News executive Bill Shine is being considered for a position on the White House communications team.
While at FOX, Shine was the right-hand man to network founder Roger Ailes and was forced out at the network after being implicated in lawsuits accusing him of abetting sexual harassment committed by Ailes.
The Times report is based on sources with intimate knowledge of discussions within the Trump administration that said Shine has spoken with White House officials about a potential gig. However, that report is placed into question by the recent removal of communications director Anthony Scaramucci, who was the original purporter of the idea to bring on Shine. Scaramucci dropped Shine’s name while threatening former chief of staff Reince Priebus’s standing within the White House in his now-infamous interview with The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza.
“‘Oh, Bill Shine is coming in,’” Mr. Scaramucci told Lizza, apparently in an impersonation of Mr. Priebus.
But Scaramucci wasn’t Shine’s only fan among Trump’s advisers. Fox News’ Sean Hannity is commonly known to be an informal adviser to Trump and dined with the president, the first lady, and Mr. Shine at the White House last week. Hannity thinks very highly of Shine but said that the topic of his employment in the White House didn’t come up at dinner. The dinner was formally held in the Blue Room of the White House, and no press were permitted inside.
“Bill Shine is talented enough that he doesn’t need my help in getting a job in the White House or any other position,” Hannity said in a statement.
Then again, Priebus could’ve leaked it on his way out.
If Shine were to be brought on to the administration, don’t expect the fanfare and bravado exuded by Scaramucci. He is reportedly a low-key operator whose job would mainly be behind the scenes. The senior executives used as the source for the Times report said the White House communications team would take advantage of his skills producing and televising staged events. At Fox News, Shine was regarded as embodying the station’s typical viewer, a feeling that precisely fits what the Trump administration seems to be lacking.
Thus, if the report is true, it spells good news for onlookers yearning for a toned-down policy-oriented pivot by the Trump administration.
When Shine resigned, Rupert Murdoch, the executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, released the following statement:
“This is a significant day for all at Fox News. Bill has played a huge role in building Fox News to its present position as the nation’s biggest and most important cable channel in the history of the industry. His contribution to our channel and our country will resonate for many years.”
Shine had been with Fox since the day it launched. He was promoted to co-president last summer after Roger Ailes was forced out of the network amid a sexual harassment scandal. Ever since then, questions have swirled about how much Shine knew about the allegations against Ailes.
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