Dynamic changes between Fox News and Donald Trump

Former President Trump during his tenure could usually turn to Fox News for comfort. There were differences from time to time, and Trump occasionally made headlines by suing figures on Fox — including Megyn Kelly during a 2015 GOP presidential primary debate.

But for the most part, Trump, a rabid follower of cable news, could tune in to find star Fox News hosts praising him and his administration while castigating his critics and political foes.

Trump still has his backers on the network, but the dynamic between a former president openly flirting with another White House bid and Rupert Murdoch’s 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 did not air Trump’s speech this week in Washington, DC, even s he aired part of an earlier address Tuesday by former Vice President Mike Pence.

“Trump’s superpower gets all the coverage. It doesn’t happen anymore. Fox doesn’t cover it 24 hours a day,” said Daniel Cassino, a media pundit who wrote a book in 2016 about the network’s influence on American politics. “So it seems like that leads to frustration that he’s not dominating Fox like he used to.”

That tension boiled over this week, when Trump lashed out at Fox and its flagship morning show, ‘Fox & Friends,’ after two of the show’s longtime co-hosts threw water cold on polls suggesting young voters felt Trump was the best choice for Republicans. seeks to win back the White House.

Other Murdoch-owned outlets have separately pulled editorials critical of Trump following damaging revelations from the House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

“Character comes to light in a crisis, and Mr. Pence stood trial on Jan. 6,” the Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote last week. “Mr. Trump completely failed his.

“Mr. Trump was sworn to uphold the Constitution and he had a duty as Commander-in-Chief to protect the Capitol from a mob attacking it on his behalf. He refused,” the board said.

The New York Post, also owned by Murdoch, ripped Trump in a separate op-ed.

“It is up to the Ministry of Justice to decide if it is a crime. But out of principle, out of character, Trump has proven himself unworthy to be CEO of this country again,” he wrote. “His sole purpose was to find ways – to hell with the consequences – to block the peaceful transfer of power. There is no other explanation, just as there is no defense, for his refusal to stop the violence.

Trump in a statement Tuesday complained that Fox, the Journal and the Post “have always been against me, until I win.”

News Corp., which owns and operates the three outlets, declined to comment on Trump’s recent attacks.

A representative for Trump did not return a request for comment on suggestions that he has fallen out of favor with Murdoch.

Feuds between Trump and Murdoch’s conservative media empire are not unheard of.

The former president was infuriated by the news outlet’s decision to call Arizona for Biden on election night and fought with one of its former key anchors, Chris Wallace, before the election on several occasions.

Several of Fox’s top figures also criticized Trump after the 2020 election.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ recent rise into the national spotlight has given Murdoch’s media a new face to present to his millions of viewers and readers as Trump’s potential successor as leader of the Republican Party and the Conservative movement. .

British pundit Piers Morgan, whom Murdoch recently hired to host a show on TalkTV in the UK, wrote an op-ed in the Post earlier this summer explicitly urging conservative voters in the US to “ditch Trump” and to support DeSantis.

“I think Trump is frankly a deadweight to Fox and Murdoch,” said AJ Bauer, a University of Alabama professor who studies and analyzes trends in conservative media. “He has done a lot of very useful work for them, he has propelled them for four, five, six years, but they are not loyal as he expects and as he needs to change his political winds.”

Some say that if Trump wins the GOP presidential nomination again, Murdoch and the former president could put aside their public bickering, as they have done in previous years.

“If Trump runs for president in 2024 and buries the field, Murdoch will have plenty of time to do what he traditionally does: place his bet on the first pony,” said longtime media writer Jack Shafer. , in a reacting column. to editorials in the Journal and the Post this week. “Like a pair of powerful mobsters arguing over how to divide the spoils, Murdoch and Trump will reconcile if they determine it is in their mutual best interests to reconcile.”

Trump also enjoys extensive coverage on the primetime Fox he loves.

Host Laura Ingraham reacted Tuesday night to news from the Justice Department including Trump in his ongoing Jan. 6 investigations by calling it “a political vendetta to stop someone running for office and succeeding and to win millions and millions of Americans the presidency again.”

Fellow prime-time host Sean Hannity, a longtime personal friend of Trump, has regularly denounced the Jan. 6 panel as a baseless “witch hunt.”

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