A few months ago, shortly before Fox News’ John Bolton was hired to serve as Donald Trump’s national security advisor, Fox News’ Juan Williams joked on the air that if you want to work in this White House, it’s a good idea to be in a Fox News green room – “because apparently that’s the staging area.”
It was a point rooted in fact. This president has made all kinds of unusual personnel decisions, but one of the common threads tying together many of Trump’s hires is his familiarity with their work on television.
But once in a while, the Republican president looks past Fox News hosts and personalities, and instead hires Fox News executives.
Former Fox News executive Bill Shine is officially joining the White House.
President Donald Trump is announcing Shine, the former co-president of the president’s preferred television channel, as his deputy chief of staff for communications. His expected hiring had reported last week.
The White House says Shine “brings over two decades of television programming, communications, and management experience to the role.”
And while that’s certainly true, that’s not the only experience Shine brings with him to the White House.
Slate published this piece last year about why the newest member of Team Trump left Fox News.
Bill Shine, who has served as Fox News co-president since Roger Ailes’ disgraced departure last year, resigned from the network on [May 1, 2017] amid accusations that he enabled a culture of sexual harassment there. 21st Century Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch announced in a memo to network employees that Shine, who was “respected and liked by everybody at Fox News,” would be replaced by Suzanne Scott on the programming side and Jay Wallace in news.
Shine was implicated in several of the recent lawsuits and allegations of sexual harassment against Ailes and Bill O’Reilly. Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros alleged that she suffered mistreatment at the hands of both Ailes and O’Reilly, and that Shine was a major player in the cover-up.
In theory, this creates an awkward dynamic, especially given the accusations Trump has faced over his alleged mistreatment of women: the new deputy White House chief of staff was no longer welcome at Fox News because he allegedly “enabled a culture of sexual harassment,” but he is welcome in the West Wing.
As for Shine’s role, he’ll apparently oversee White House communications as a deputy chief of staff, but he won’t be communications director, at least not officially. Hope Hicks, who stepped down a few months ago, was Trump’s fifth communications director since Election Day 2016, and it now appears that the position will remain vacant, at least for a while.