Has the love affair between Trump and Fox News gone sour?

Photo: Justin Lane/EPA
For years, Donald Trump and Fox News were entranced.
Apparently whenever he wanted, the ex-president called the right-wing news station. Fox News anchors pumped up every Trump statement. Trump observed the channel religiously, sending 657 tweets in response to Fox News or Fox Business broadcasts in 2019 alone.
Things seem to have changed since then, however. As the New York Times pointed out, Trump has not been interviewed by Fox News for more than 100 days.
A recent speech by Trump was largely ignored by the network, and in a sign that Fox News has realized that alternative Republican presidential candidates are available, a speech by Mike Pence was livestreamed in its entirety.
See Also: Dick Cheney Attacks Donald Trump As "The Greatest Threat To Our Republic."
With the news channel embroiled in a multibillion-dollar legal battle with Dominion Voting Systems over its claims that the voting machine company rigged the 2020 election, Trump's ongoing lies about voter fraud appear to have rocked Rupert Murdoch, the media titan who owns Fox News.
Two of Murdoch's newspapers, the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal, ran scathing editorials about Trump in July, with the former calling the twice-impeached 45th president "unworthy to be the chief executive of this country again" and the latter calling Trump branded "the President who stood still on January 6".
This week, The Washington Post reported that Murdoch had lost "his enthusiasm" for Trump.
The network has begun giving Pence and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ample airtime, including two primetime interviews in five days, the New York Times reported. Tom Cotton, the Arkansas senator who is also said to be running for a presidential nomination in 2024, was also a regular interviewee.
But while Trump's apparent rebound from Fox News has been enthusiastically reported by media reporters, there are plenty of signs that the broadcaster isn't quite ready to let its beloved go.
A recent study by Media Matters for America, a media watchdog, found that Fox News continues to discuss Trump far, far more than any of its perceived rivals for the 2024 nomination — specifically, Trump was mentioned 8,556 times on Fox News from January to July, during DeSantis and Pence received 1,083 and 589 mentions, respectively.
Angelo Carusone, President and Chief Executive of Media Matters, said these results indicate there was no acidification. He said the tone may have changed slightly and that Trump may no longer have the same "stranglehold" he used to have on Fox News — the days when the station aired for "an audience of one." probably over - but that the coverage is still overwhelmingly positive.
“You were allowed to attack Donald Trump on Fox News during the 2015 and 2016 primaries. That doesn't happen at all now," Carusone said.
For his part, Trump recently expressed his displeasure with the Fox News output. The 76-year-old, who is known to be emotional, attacked Fox & Friends in July after his host Steve Doocy proposed a straw poll of potential candidates for 2024 that showed Trump should be taken with a pinch of salt with 79% of the vote.
Doocy barely lashed out at Trump — the moderator just pointed to other, more scholarly polls showing Trump lacking 79% of support. But it was enough to cause a stir.
"Fox & Friends really screwed up my poll numbers, no doubt on purpose. This show was awful — it went to the 'dark side,'" Trump posted on Truth Social, his ailing right-wing social media platform.
The Dominion lawsuit could be a reason for Trump's absence. The company is suing Fox News for $1.6 billion, accusing its owner, Fox Corp, and specifically the Murdochs, of allowing Fox News to amplify Trump's false claims that the polling company rigged the election for Joe Biden. It might be a wise strategy not to allow Trump to repeat these exact claims on Fox News during a live interview.
When asked for comment, a Fox News spokesperson said: "The liberal media debate on this issue is the real reason FOX News exists and is the most-watched cable news channel in the country, with more viewers of any political persuasion than any other network . ”
Still, Carusone believes any cooldown on Fox News toward Trump is likely to be temporary.
The station's hosts still engage in foggy-eyed segments discussing how Trump would deal with issues ranging from inflation to China to the "border crisis" -- a Fox News staple. And Trump's supposed achievements in office are still being championed.
"They still fetishize and fantasize, there just isn't a single audience anymore," Carusone said.
"There are other people in the audience who are important to them."
donald trump
45th President of the United States

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