Dynamic Shifts Between Fox News Donald Trump
Former President Trump while in office could usually turn to Fox News for comfort. There were differences from time to time, and Trump made headlines occasionally by going after personalities on Fox most famously Megyn Kelly during a 2015 GOP presidential primary debate.
But for the most part, Trump, a rabid cable news follower, could tune in to find Fox News star hosts heaping praise on him and his administration while lambasting his critics and political enemies.
Trump still has his supporters on the network, but the dynamic between a former president openly flirting with another run for the White House and Rupert Murdochs top media asset is definitely changing.
For one thing, Fox is more focused on President Biden, a subject of relentless prime-time attacks, than Trump, and the network didnt air Trumps speech this week in Washington, D.C., even as it did air a portion of an earlier address Tuesday by former Vice President Mike Pence.
Trumps superpower is getting all the coverage. Thats not happening anymore. Fox is not covering him 24 hours a day, said Daniel Cassino, a media expert who wrote a 2016 book about the networks influence over American politics. So it seems that is leading to frustration that hes not dominating Fox the way he did before.
Other Murdoch-owned media properties have separately fired off editorials critical of Trump in the wake of damaging revelations from the House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.
As Trump Separates From Fox News Whats Next For Both
As supporters of President Donald Trump gathered around the country in the past week to protest the election, a surprising chant could occasionally be heard: Fox News sucks.
The network has held a central role during Trumps presidency, regularly hosting him on its various shows and featuring a slate of commentators who vociferously defend him. But that relationship began to show signs of strain in recent months, culminating in outright hostility from Trump after Fox News and The Associated Press became the first major media outlets to announce that former Vice President Joe Biden had won Arizona in the presidential race.
On Thursday, Trump took his anger at Fox News even further, claiming the networks ratings had collapsed, which is untrue. On election night, ratings data from Nielsen showed that Fox News averaged 14.1 million viewers from 8-11 p.m. ET, a record for cable news coverage of a presidential election.
Very sad to watch this happen, Trump tweeted, but they forgot what made them successful, what got them there. They forgot the Golden Goose.
With Biden as president-elect, Fox News relationship with Trump and conservative America is at a crossroads. The conservative media landscape is far broader today than it was four years ago, and the rival networks that proliferated during Trumps presidency could be eager to take on Fox News possibly in concert with Trump. But any predictions of Fox News demise would be premature.
Nyc Human Rights Law Violations
In mid-2021, Fox News agreed to pay a $1 million settlement to New York City after its Commission on Human Rights cited “a pattern of violating the NYC Human Rights Law“. A Fox News spokesperson claimed that “FOX News Media has already been in full compliance across the board, but to continue enacting extensive preventive measures against all forms of discrimination and harassment.”
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Fox News Launches New Opinion Show With Bartiromo Gowdy And Pavlich Among The Hosts
The new Fox News Primetime has set a slate of rotating hosts, mostly familiar faces for the network.
When newly emboldened white supremacists marched in Charlottesville, Va., in summer 2017, in what now reads as a clear precursor to the Capitol attack with one right-winger plowing his car into counterprotesters, killing one Trump said there were very fine people, on both sides.
Fox News, now locked into the pattern, followed suit. Hannity floated the lie on his radio show that protesters at the rally may have been actors hired by a publicity firm. Carlson performed his own both sides shuffle in a widely reviled segment, calling the left every bit as race-obsessed as the white supremacists of Unite the Right.
All that was just in Trumps first year.
By the time the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, Fox News was poised to defend Trump at all costs, even if it meant putting viewers lives in danger. Several on-air personalities and guests reinforced the idea that the pandemic was a hoax cooked up by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her pals. This is yet another attempt to impeach the president, Fox Business host Trish Regan said, before being ousted for her comments. Hannity went further: Theyre scaring the living hell out of people, and I see it again as like, Oh, lets bludgeon Trump with this new hoax.
Elsewhere In The Murdoch
Through their papers, where the financial stakes are notably far lower, the Murdochs continue to send signals that they are not happy with Trump. Tuesdays edition of the New York Post is the latest example. The tabloid from the editorial board which argued that Trump shares blame for the wasteful spending from Democrats in Congress. Republicans also need to cast an eye to Bedminster, summer home of the partys sabotager-in-chief, the Posts editorial board wrote. Blame for this travesty also lies at Donald Trumps feet.
That editorial followed a Monday afternoon piece in WSJ by Gerard Baker who wrote that many Trump Republicans are not ready for prime time. Baker explained, The problem isnt inexperience itself. This years leading crop of outsiders owe their difficulty less to being new faces than to the things they say and purport to believe and to their inescapable proximity to Mr. Trump and his various toxicities
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Stories Chosen For You
Senior Secret Service leadership confiscated the cell phones of 24 agents and handed them over to the embattled Trump-appointed Inspector General of the Dept. of Homeland Security as he was launching his criminal investigation into the deleted text message scandal. The Secret Service, DHS, and former Trump officials at the Pentagon have been under fire after the IG, Joseph Cuffari, belatedly revealed texts from January 5 and 6, 2021, had been deleted.
The agency handed over the phones shortly after a July 19 letter was sent by Inspector General Joseph Cuffariâs office,NBC News reports.
The revelation that Cuffariâs office has had access to the phones since late July or August raises new questions about the progress of his criminal investigation into the missing text messages and what, if anything, the public may be able to learn about communications between agents on Jan. 6, 2021, NBC adds.
Cuffari reportedly learned in December of 2021 that the cell phones of Secret Service agents directly involved in protective operations on the day of the insurrection, had been wiped and text messages deleted. He did not report this to Congress until July of 2022, despite his staff taking action.
Cuffari has been seen by some as covering for Trump loyalists. His own staff is calling for his firing.
Noted political scientist Norman Ornstein, who sits on the POGO board, in late July called the situation a âcoverup of treason.â
What I Learned About Media Rage After Getting Fired From Fox
I was fired from my job on Decision Desk after calling the election for Biden in 2020. The funny thing is I should have seen it coming.
The Fox News Decision Desk was the first to project that Joe Biden would win the former GOP stronghold of Arizona in 2020. | Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images
08/28/2022 02:49 PM EDT
Chris Stirewalt is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Previously, he was political editor of Fox News Channel.
My first meeting in Roger Ailes boardroom of doom was on Election Day 2010.
At the time, I was the networks new political editor. Republicans were poised to deliver a serious walloping to President Barack Obama and roll back the Democrats doughty majorities in both houses of Congress. The GOP was in a position to score major wins in governors mansions and statehouses from coast to coast.
After four straight days and nights of data obsession and rehearsals, I had to now appear to be a normal human in front of a room full of New Yorkers to whom I assume I appeared to be a sweaty bumpkin.
In this Sept. 29, 2006 photo, former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes poses at Fox News in New York.|Jim Cooper/AP Photo
The number, of course, was how many seats I forecast Republicans to win that night. Our best guess is 64 seats, sir. Ailes, mouth set like a bulldog and eyes staring through the back of my head, said, Dick Morris says it could be one hundred. Why is yours so low?
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Fox News Brian Kilmeade Says Donald Trump Was Unhinged Before Jan 6 Riot
I have not seen any evidence of widespread voter fraud, the Fox & Friends host added
Fox News host Brian Kilmeade launched an unexpected broadside at Donald Trump, calling the former president unhinged after the 2020 election in the period before the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.
Speaking on Howard Kurtzs Media Buzz show on Sunday about the House Jan. 6 committee hearings, Kilmeade also rejected Trumps repeated assertions that he was robbed due to widespread election fraud. I have not seen any evidence, he said, adding that Trumps continued false claims are hurting his chances for political comeback.
Ive said this before, I believe from the time when the election results came in until January 6th is the worst moment of Donald Trumps political career, and had he just said Ive got problems, Im going to have my legal team look at it, going to welcome the Bidens to the White House, hed have about 70% approval rating right now and a clamoring to have him back in office, the Fox & Friends host said. It would be a coronation, not even an election. So I think how you lose in life defines who you are, and even if there are things that bother you, welcome to the world.
Watch the segment above.
Trump As A Manageable Risk
At his core, Mr. Ailes was two things that made him think someone like Mr. Trump was a manageable risk: deeply motivated by growing the size of the Fox audience and the attendant profits that would fatten his annual bonus and an establishment Republican who, as G.O.P. strategist, had helped elect Nixon, Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
He was no different from the transactionally minded Republican leaders in Congress who looked at the energized group of voters in the Tea Party and thought: This is going to be good for business. Christopher Ruddy, the chief executive of Newsmax, recalled speaking with Mr. Ailes about the budding new political movement on the right which would be good for both mens bottom lines and said that while Mr. Ailes liked the movements use of patriotic language and its rebellious spirit, he ultimately saw them as a convenient grass-roots group.
Mr. Trump, Mr. Beck and Ms. Palin three new Fox stars initially delivered what Mr. Ailes was looking for: compelling television, good ratings and content viewers could find nowhere else. All three also ended up growing into big enough political celebrities in their own right one more popular and entitled than the next that Mr. Ailes eventually lost his ability to control them.
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Uncovering and explaining how our digital world is changing and changing us.
President Trump is acting badly. He is being supported by enablers in his government and by allies who fear him and/or want to take advantage of him. And hes being supported by Rupert Murdochs Fox News.
So what else is new?
The stakes. Theres a very small chance that Trump could actually disrupt a peaceful transfer of power with his baseless claims of election fraud. He will, more likely, permanently damage Americas ability to hold elections by undermining much of the countrys faith in them.
Its time for Fox to dispense with the bad-faith, bifurcated approach to the truth it has used for years, which allows its most popular stars to peddle lies to its audience under the guise that theyre merely offering their opinions.
That wont happen, of course.
Thats in part because of Foxs well-documentedsymbiosis with Trump, where its top talent Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, the Fox & Friends crew act as Trumps on- and off-air advisers and cheering squad.
And its in part because Murdoch, who enjoys conservative politics but truly loves power, has an endgame in mind: By mid-January, Joe Biden will be president, and Fox News will be the disloyal opposition, a position where it thrives.
Either way, well get to the same point next year, where Fox News is very comfortable attacking the Democratic president who some viewers will believe doesnt have the right to be in office.
Donald Trump Threatens To Sue Fox News Over Ad That Calls His Supporters ‘suckers’
The former president announced on his reportedly financially challengedTruth Social platform that he is considering suing the news network for false advertising after an insulting ad created by The Lincoln Project aired on Fox News in one local market where Trump owns a golf course. The ad was not bought through Fox News and did not air nationally.
The ad is titled Sucker, and it basically explains to MAGA Republicans why they are suckers for believing basically anything Trump tells them:
Dear MAGA, we have some bad news. No, not that he lost. Not that your little coup attempt failed and its planners and the attackers are going to jail. No. The really bad news is why Trump told you he lost. Why he set it up way before the 2020 election. It wasnt voter fraud but it was fraud.
Trump told you the election was stolen ripped you off, to sucker you, to take your hard-earned money and shovel it into his pockets. He spent it on himself not to take back the White House.
It was the biggest scam in political history. Every dollar you sent him paid to keep his shady business empire and lavish lifestyle going. It was a sucker game all along. And you know who the sucker is? You.
This is the ad that pissed off Trump this morning.
The Lincoln Project
The commercial was designed specifically to piss off Trump, and it apparently succeeded based on the rant he unleashed Wednesday morning on Truth Social:
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Conservative Propaganda Television Is A Big Deal
A study by Emory University political scientist Gregory Martin and Stanford economist Ali Yurukoglu estimates that watching Fox News translates into a significantly greater willingness to vote for Republican candidates.
Specifically, by exploiting semi-random variation in Fox viewership driven by changes in the assignment of channel numbers, they find that if Fox News hadnt existed, the Republican presidential candidates share of the two-party vote would have been 3.59 points lower in 2004 and 6.34 points lower in 2008. Without Fox, in other words, the GOPs only popular vote win since the 1980s would have been reversed and the 2008 election would have been an extinction-level landslide.
And Fox is not the only thing out there. The Sinclair Broadcast Group is not a television network in a traditional sense. Instead, its a company that owns a disparate bunch of local television stations affiliated with all four major networks. But Sinclair does exert centralized control over the local television news broadcasts. And research from Martin and his colleague Josh McCrain found that when Sinclair buys a local station, its local news program begin to cover more national and less local politics, the coverage becomes more conservative, and viewership actually falls suggesting that the rightward tilt isnt enacted as a strategy to win more viewers but as part of a persuasion effort.
Fox News Doesnt Carry Trump Rallies Live Anymore Hes Got To Be Very Unhappy About It
When former president Donald Trump began speaking at a boisterous rally Saturday night in Conroe, Tex., his favorite cable news channel did not show it. Viewers tuned in to Fox News at that hour were instead greeted with a six-day-old clip from CNNs media commentary program.
Fox also chose not to broadcast Trumps first big speech of 2022, at a Jan. 15 rally in Arizona, even though a reporter for the network later described it as his first stump speech of a possible 2024 campaign.
As Trump appears likely to run for president again, his supporters can no longer turn to Fox News Channel for live coverage of his latest speeches, as they generally could during his 2016 campaign, presidency and reelection campaign. Instead, viewers have to rely on one of the conservative channels hoping to outflank Fox from the right, such as Newsmax, One America News or the online outlet Right Side Broadcasting Network.
Its the latest sign that Fox is becoming more selective about how it covers Trump after years during which the network bragged about the ratings for its live rally coverage and even chided rival networks for not carrying some events. Prime-time hosts such as Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham even served as informal advisers to Trump during his presidency.
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But they will ultimately follow their audience, Sykes added. And he thinks that audience wants more Trump.
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