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FOX News anchor Melissa Francis talks Trump, fake news, #MeToo at Kuehne event

FOX News anchor Melissa Francis talks Trump, fake news, #MeToo at Kuehne event

FOX News anchor Melissa Francis talks Trump, fake news, #MeToo at Kuehne event
March 31
16:36 2018

FOX News Channel and FOX Business anchor and host Melissa Francis spoke about President Donald Trump’s strategy to foster negotiation, fake news and the #MeToo movement Marsh 29 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas.

The luncheon and reception had about 450 people in attendance and was a part of UNT’s Kuehne Speaker Series. Francis also contributes to FOX’s “The Five” and “America’s Newsroom.”

“[Trump] understands what it takes to make the country grow,” Francis said. “He understands that the government needs to get out of the way and off everyone’s back and he understands what it takes to get things going right.”

Ernie Kuehne, the founder and namesake of the Kuehne Speaker Series, said Francis is someone he “admires greatly” during his welcome remarks.

President Neal Smatresk said UNT holds events like the Kuehne Speaker Series to raise money for scholarships. He said UNT promotes the “free exchange of ideas” on campus.

“Events like this showcase and highlight that we are out there, that we’re not afraid of controversy,” Smatresk said in reference to the Donald Trump Jr. speech the series hosted in October 2017.

In her speech, Francis referenced her recent op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, “The Art of the Steel Tariffs,” where she wrote that Trump’s strategy of “[stirring] controversy with unexpected announcements” and taking “outlandish” stances is what brings about negotiation.

The example she highlighted from her op-ed was about his proposal for a border wall that involved thinking big and protecting oneself by “being flexible” and not getting “too attached to one deal.”

Francis said to consider what is going on behind the scenes next time Trump tweets something about policymaking.

“The next time you hear something he says that sounds really outrageous, ask yourself, ‘What is this really about? What else is really going on today? What negotiation is out there right now that he’s resetting?’” Francis said.

She added that she did not know if this would work in every case.

Francis said people in Washington do not negotiate and compared the wide differences in negotiating for policymaking to the harsh negotiation of hot dog prices at a hot dog stand in New York.

She said that Trump’s new employees are not “yes-men” but instead are the opposite. She said they are not hard-right since they range in opinions, but instead they are hardcore because of their determination and focus.

“These are the people [Trump is] surrounding himself with,” Francis said. “He’s tired as the CEO of people coming back to him and telling him why what he wants is the wrong thing to want.”

Francis said she knows the people working for him personally. She said the public should consider it further when it sees people coming and going.

“You don’t want people working with you who are wishy-washy, who doubt your vision, who are undermining you,” Francis said. “You also don’t want people who are just agreeing with you.”

Francis also spoke about fake news and how it is a real thing.

“Facebook and CNN and FOX for that matter, it’s all a business at the end of the day,” Francis said.

She said that algorithms are “devastating” for news consumers because it is a machine promoting those stories, not people.

“[Stories that are being shown are] just reflecting back at you what you clicked on,” Francis said. “In Facebook’s case, it’s reflecting back on you what you said to other people online.”

Francis spoke about the recent controversy surrounding Facebook. She said Facebook is the largest data mining company that uses information it learns about its users in order to sell it.

“[Facebook] is trying desperately to keep you there for as many minutes,” Francis said about Facebook’s algorithm.

Francis also compared CNN and FOX to football clubs when they “talk trash” to each other.

“We’re both trying to get the most fans,” Francis said.

She added that the trash talking should not be “taken off the field.”

Brandon Searcy from Dallas Capital Bank said he hopes Francis’ speech helped more people confirm and settle things about Trump.

“I just think [Francis’ speech] gives a lot of people a different perspective and way to understand the president and why he does the certain things he does,” Searcy said.

Chairman and CEO of Ryan, LLC, G. Brint Ryan presented questions from sponsors during a question and answer session. Francis spoke about her thoughts on the #MeToo movement’s impact in the newsroom and the 2018 midterm elections.

Francis spoke about an experience when she was first starting out in the news when her boss showed up drunk at her house at 5 a.m. trying to get in. Francis said he did not know where she lived, so he must have looked up her address with the company.

When his wife called him, he told Francis that he should tell his wife where he was and what he was trying to do. Francis did not report her boss.

Francis said her reaction the next day was to find a new job. She said she now wonders how many other women went through the same thing with him.

“Who was I going to go tell?” Francis asked. “He was the boss.” 

About the midterm elections, Francis said she believes Democrats are overconfident.

She ended with advice to young journalists.

“You have to fight for it,” Francis said. “You have to have passion. You can’t be afraid to take risks.”

Featured Image: Melissa Francis poses for a photo with political pundit Sean Hannity. Francis recently spoke at an event as part of UNT’s Kuehne Speaker Series. Courtesy Facebook

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Zaira Perez

Zaira Perez

Senior News Writer

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1 Comment

  1. Neil Nevins
    Neil Nevins April 02, 07:53

    ew. no thanks

    Reply to this comment

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