[...] has ever had at his disposal—a servile propaganda operation.1
I was looking at some ngram for collocations with propaganda and there are many more results with campaign and machine for instance than there are with operation. Campaign doesn't work here but do you typically have at your disposal a propaganda operation? I guess I don't really get what operation means in this context (is that merely a business?). What's the difference with a propaganda machine (similar to political machine, with the possible meaning for machine being: "An organized group of people whose members are or appear to be under the control of one or more leaders: a political machine", AHDotEL)?
In the article operation is used one other time with smooth-running to refer to the White House and that seems to mean something generic, an undertaking. Do you suspect the same meaning is used in the quote and therefore that this is not about a collocation/compound or specific meaning for propaganda operation but rather it just means a servile operation (as in a generic undertaking, or more specifically a news business since that's what we're talking about here), which is into/about spewing propaganda?
1 Context: “In a hypothetical world without Fox News, if President Trump were to be hit hard by the Mueller report, it would be the end of him. But, with Fox News covering his back with the Republican base, he has a fighting chance, because he has something no other President in American history has ever had at his disposal—a servile propaganda operation.” ♦ [Jerry Taylor, co-founder of the Niskanen Center, as reported in the article "The Making of the Fox News White House" (The New Yorker)]