With the appointment of Stephen K. Bannon as Donald Trump's chief strategist, Breitbart News is boasting that it is "going to be the best place for news on the Trump White House" — or, as conservative talk radio host Charlie Sykes sees it, something akin to a state news outlet. But Trump's media reach might not stop with Breitbart.
The president-elect is reportedly considering conservative commentator Laura Ingraham for the role of White House press secretary, and Ingraham sure sounds open to the job.
"If I could be of help in this administration and the role makes sense for me, then I would definitely entertain that, and it would be a great privilege to be asked," she said Tuesday on "Fox & Friends."
Ingraham, consistently rated among the nation's most important talk radio hosts by Talkers magazine, would be walking away from a very lucrative and influential gig, which is one reason I did not put her on a list of press secretary candidates last week. The other reason was the fact that Ingraham's supportive voice could be more valuable to Trump on the air than at the podium in the White House briefing room.
But the choice of Ingraham in the media or Ingraham in the White House might be a false one. Trump could have both.
Ingraham last year launched a conservative news site called LifeZette that could continue to operate without her day-to-day management, just as Breitbart will go on without Bannon, who was its chairman until he took a leave of absence to join Trump's campaign in August. LifeZette is newer than Breitbart and has a much smaller audience, but Ingraham wasn't fibbing when she said on "Fox & Friends" that the site is "going gangbusters."
Interest in the election obviously boosted LifeZette — as it did many news outlets — but Ingraham's site is clearly building a following. With Ingraham and Bannon on his team, Trump could have direct pipelines to two increasingly powerful conservative media operations that combined to attract almost 21 million unique visitors last month.
Ingraham's résumé (former Reagan administration speechwriter, Supreme Court clerk, successful commentator) certainly qualifies her for the press secretary job. But she also brings to the table an opportunity for Trump to expand his media reach even farther.