What Does Fox News Do Now Schism With Trump Supporters Over Election Coverage Points To Network’s Future
On Monday night, Fox News cut away from White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s press conference.
“I can’t in good countenance continue to show you this,” host Neil Cavuto said to viewers as McEnany’s opening statement immediately delved into unproven claims about voter fraud, as Donald Trump still refuses to concede the presidency.
A schism has well and truly formed between the Rupert Murdoch-owned media network and the Trump administrationwith Joe Biden‘s victory comes the end to the once symbiotic relationship between the Trump White House and the conservative channel that preached and upheld the last four years’ of political power.
So what does this mean now for Fox? The network will certainly thrive in opposition, yet if it is now not fully endorsing Trump’s acolytes, its future direction hangs somewhat in the balance.
The question of Fox viewers also comes into play here, as many seem to be turning their back on the network that for the last four years has been their antithesis of the perceived “fake news media.”
Media experts tell Newsweek that while Murdoch may be now performatively distancing himself and his organizations from Trump, Fox News might undergo a turbulent few months, but will still be the place to go where right learning viewers get their news.
The author of “Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics,” Hemmer speculates that Fox will “pivot to wholesale opposition to the Biden administration.”
Why Mick Mulvaney Believes Republicans No Longer Need Trump
Former Fox News contributors Jonah Goldberg and Stephen Hayes the network last week. The two have long been concerned over former President Donald Trump falsely claiming the 2020 election was stolen. The publication of Tucker Carlson’s falsehood-filled “Patriot Purge” on Fox Nation, about January 6, was the last straw.
Unite The Right Rally In Charlottesville
Fox News hosts and contributors defended Trump’s remarks that “many sides” were to blame for violence at a gathering of hundreds of white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia. Some criticized Trump. In a press conference on August 15, Trump used the term “alt-left” to describe counterprotesters at the white supremacist rally, a term which had been used in Fox News’ coverage of the white supremacist rally. Several of Trump’s comments at the press conference mirrored those appearing earlier on Fox News.
According to Dylan Byers of CNN, Fox News’ coverage on the day of the press conference “was heavy with “whataboutism“. The average Fox viewer was likely left with the impression that the media’s criticism of Trump and leftist protestors’ toppling of some Confederate statues were far greater threats to America than white supremacism or the president’s apparent defense of bigotry.” Byers wrote “it showed that if Fox News has a line when it comes to Trump’s presidency, it was not crossed on Tuesday.”
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Before June 201: Trump The Commentator
Before the announcement of his fateful presidential campaign in June 2015, Trump was a frequent guest on Fox News. The broadcaster gave significant support to Trump’s birther campaign, while Fox News anchor Sean Hannity admitted advising Trump not to run as an independent in the 2012 presidential election.
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Rupert Murdoch reportedly fears for his legacy after backing Donald Trump through his conservative Fox News network, author Michael Wolff has said.
The Fire and Fury author, who has also written a biography of Mr Muroch, told Der Spiegel in an interview on Monday that Fox Newss backing of the former US president had not only torn the 90-year-olds family apart, but had also thrown the future of his global business empire into doubt.
Although two of Mr Murdochs adult children, James and Elisabeth, are thought to be fiercely critical of Mr Trump, Mr Wolff told the German news website that Mr Murdoch would not benefit from the cable networks boosterism of Mr Trump.
Two of his kids are Democrats and can’t abide this in any way, shape or form, said Mr Wolff of Fox Newss backing of the former president. That tears the family apart.
Mr Murdoch, as the founder of News Corp and 21st Century Fox, is the owner of Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, among other famous titles in the US, UK and Australia.
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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.
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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Murder Of Seth Rich Conspiracy
On May 16, 2017, a day when other news organizations were extensively covering Donald Trump’s revelation of classified information to Russia, Fox News ran a lead story about a private investigator’s uncorroborated claims about the murder of Seth Rich, a DNC staffer. The private investigator said he had uncovered evidence that Rich was in contact with Wikileaks and law enforcement were covering it up. The killing of Rich has given rise to conspiracy theories in rightwing circles that Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party had Seth Rich killed allegedly because he was the source of the DNC leaks. U.S. intelligence agencies determined Russia was the source of the leaks. In reporting the investigator’s claims, the Fox News report reignited right-wing conspiracy theories about the killing.
Rich’s parents, Joel and Mary Rich, sued Fox News for the emotional distress it had caused them by its false reporting. In 2020, Fox News settled with Rich family, making a payment that was not officially disclosed but which was reported to be in the seven figures. Although the settlement had been agreed to earlier in the year, Fox News arranged to delay the public announcement until after the 2020 presidential election.
Did The Decision Come From Rupert Murdoch Himself
We know from parliamentary hearings in Australia that Murdoch seldom instructs his editors directly, but makes sure they know his thinking.
Media correspondent for National Public Radio, David Folkenflik, believes the damning NYP and WSJ editorials could not have been written without Murdoch’s assent or direction:
The financial folks who, for example, read The Wall Street Journal. We’re giving cover for you to send your money in other directions… Murdoch is basically not on board at this point. We can go in another direction. And you’ve seen Ron DeSantis rise in coverage, and I think that’s really the alternative the Murdochs are looking to at the moment.
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Unworthy To Be Chief Executive Again
The first sign of Murdochs shift came just over a week ago, on 22 July, after damning evidence had been aired by the Select Committee in Washington investigating the 6 January 2021 insurrection.
An editorial in Murdochs New York Post stated:
To his eternal shame, as appalled aides implored him to publicly call on his followers to go home, he instead further fanned the flames by tweeting: Mike Pence didnt have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.
His only focus was to find any means damn the consequences to block the peaceful transfer of power…
Its up to the Justice Department to decide if this is a crime. But as a matter of principle, as a matter of character, Trump has proven himself unworthy to be this countrys chief executive again.
On the same day, Murdochs Wall Street Journal ran a similar editorial condemning Trumps multiple breaches of duty on 6 January:
Instead, he fed the mobs anger and let the riot play out. In the 18 months since, Mr Trump has shown not an iota of regret… Character is revealed in a crisis and Mr Pence passed his 6 January trial. Mr Trump utterly failed his.
It ended up accidentally exonerating Trump… Why is it that he seems more electable now? Is it because the public saw it was a show trial?
Sharp Divides Between Clinton Trump Voters In Regular Use Of Some News Websites
While no digital-native news publisher stood out on the list of voters main source of news for the 2016 election, its clear that some did turn to these sites as part of their overall news diet.
In addition to asking respondents about their main source of campaign news, the survey also asked respondents to look at a list of news outlets and identify any that they used regularly for news about the campaign. Included on this list were six digital news websites a mixture of aggregators and original news publishers whose audiences are situated at different points along the ideological spectrum, according to past research.2 Across these sites Google News, Yahoo News, The Huffington Post, Breitbart, BuzzFeed and Drudge Report Americans indicated modest levels of use. About one-in-five voters overall regularly got election news from Google News or The Huffington Post , while 12% did so from Yahoo News. Less than one-in-ten regularly used BuzzFeed , Breitbart or Drudge Report for election news.
However, some of these sources were more prominent among one candidates supporters than the other. The Huffington Post was used regularly for election news by nearly a quarter of Clinton voters, but only about one-in-ten of Trump voters. BuzzFeed also showed higher usage among Clinton than Trump voters . Conversely, both Breitbart and Drudge Report reached 11% of Trump voters but a mere 1% of Clinton supporters.
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Compulsory Reductions In Meat Consumption
In April 2021, at least five Fox News and Fox Business personalities amplified a story published by the Daily Mail, a British tabloid, that incorrectly linked a university study to President Joe Biden’s climate change agenda, to falsely assert that Americans would be compelled to dramatically reduce their meat consumption to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions caused by flatulence. Fox News aired a graphic detailing the supposed compulsory reductions, falsely indicating the information came from the Agriculture Department, which numerous Republican politicians and commentators tweeted. Fox News anchor John Roberts reported to “say goodbye to your burgers if you want to sign up to the Biden climate agenda.” Days later, Roberts acknowledged on air that the story was false.
Coverage Of Russia Investigation
On October 30, 2017, when special counsel Robert Mueller indicted Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, and revealed George Papadopoulos had pleaded guilty , this was the focus of most media’s coverage, except Fox News’. Hosts and guests on Fox News called for Mueller to be fired. Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson focused their shows on unsubstantiated allegations that Clinton sold uranium to Russia in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation and on the Clinton campaign’s role in funding the Donald TrumpRussia dossier. Hannity asserted: “The very thing they are accusing President Trump of doing, they did it themselves.” During the segment, Hannity mistakenly referred to Clinton as President Clinton. Fox News dedicated extensive coverage to the uranium story, which Democrats said was an attempt to distract from Mueller’s intensifying investigation. CNN described the coverage as “a tour de force in deflection and dismissal”. On October 31, CNN reported Fox News employees were dissatisfied with their outlet’s coverage of the Russia investigation, with employees calling it an “embarrassment”, “laughable”, and saying it “does the viewer a huge disservice and further divides the country” and that it is “another blow to journalists at Fox who come in every day wanting to cover the news in a fair and objective way”.
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Jared Kushner: I Stopped Trump Attacking Murdoch In 2015
In forthcoming memoir, obtained by the Guardian, former adviser claims to have made hugely consequential intervention
In a forthcoming memoir, Jared Kushner says he personally intervened to stop Donald Trump attacking Rupert Murdoch in response to the media moguls criticism, at the outset of Trumps move into politics in 2015.
In the book, Breaking History, Kushner writes: Trump called me. Hed clearly had enough. This guys no good. And Im going to tweet it.
Please, youre in a Republican primary, I said, hoping he wasnt about to post a negative tweet aimed at the most powerful man in conservative media. You dont need to get on the wrong side of Rupert. Give me a couple of hours to fix it.
Kushner says he fixed it. If his claim is true, he could be seen to have made a hugely consequential intervention in modern US history.
Murdochs support, chiefly through Fox News, did much to boost Trump to victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016. Despite persistent reports of friction between the two men, Murdoch supported Trump through four tumultuous years in power which culminated in Trumps refusal to admit defeat and the deadly attack on Congress.
The Guardian obtained a copy of Kushners book, which will be published next month.
Kushner claims to have convinced Murdoch to support Trump in 2015.
He wants to be president, I responded.
No, what does he really want? he asked again.
Interesting, Rupert said.
We had a truce, for the time being.
A Short History Of Donald’s Trump Relationship With Fox News
Conor Gaffey U.S.Donald TrumpFox NewsSean Hannity
Donald Trump loves Fox News.
The 45th President of the United States is an avid follower of the conservative broadcaster’s “Fox and Friends” morning news segment and is persistently tweeting that the Rupert Murdoch-owned network has the best ratings.
Trump was at it again on Tuesday night, ordering his 27.2 million Twitter followers to watch a Fox broadcast on alleged ties between John Podesta, the former chair of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, to an alternative energy firm with links to a Russian state fund. Considering the ongoing intelligence investigation into alleged ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia, the president’s critics argue he is eager to detract from his own setbacks.
But the relationship between the network and the president hasn’t always been sunshine and roses. Here’s a potted history…
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Hayes: What 25 Years Of Fox News Poison Has Done To America
Additionally, as evidenced by the placement of the Jan. 6 documentary on Fox Nation part of a new contract Carlson signed to bring a three-times-per-week video podcast and monthly specials to the streaming service Fox is using his popularity to drive viewers to Fox Nation. A subscription platform, Fox Nation launched in November 2018 and charges $5.99 per month to subscribe. Again, popularity and passion matter more than advertisers. As John Finley, an executive who oversaw the launch of the streaming service, acknowledged in a 2018 interview, Fox Nation doesnt have to worry as much about advertising revenue, but the service is crucial to the long-term future of Fox because its a hedge against cord-cutting, which will reduce the revenue from those cable carriage fees.
So Carlsons ability to deliver a large, devoted audience to Foxs platforms is more important than his penchant for enraging opponents, earning rebukes from journalists or alienating advertisers.