The Fox News primary is one contest where Donald Trump, at least in his own mind, is already running as he considers his chances of winning the White House in 2024.
According to two people with knowledge of the situation, the twice-impeached former president has become increasingly fixated on Fox’s coverage of him in comparison to potential Republican primary opponents in recent months. When it comes to Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, that infatuation intensifies. According to one person, Trump abruptly brought up how much recent Fox News airtime DeSantis had in the meeting.
In private conversations, Trump has compiled a list of the key on-air hosts, personalities, and programs he considers to be staunchly on his side, those he believes may be defecting, and those he views as being opposed to him. Trump has indicated some uncertainty about Laura Ingraham’s position by 2024 and sees Sean Hannity as firmly in his team. Like usual, the former president consulted certain confidantes about potential Team Trump defections among Fox News regulars and prominent figures on the right-wing media.
According to the sources, Trump is promoting a well-known justification for why he believes Fox and the rest of Ruper Murdoch’s media empire won’t ever genuinely desert him: ratings. Trump has recently claimed that Fox viewers adore him and that he currently has higher ratings than any other Republican, including DeSantis, according to a person familiar with the situation who spoke to Rolling Stone. If the Murdochs are wise, they won’t dump him.
Trump’s lifetime concern on his own press coverage is partially reflected in his concentration on Fox. He is after all a man who previously addressed talk to reporters about himself under false names. However, Fox News’ coverage affects GOP voters today. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) attributed his loss to Trump in the 2016 primary to failing to win Fox News’ favor.
Eric Bolling, a former Fox News host, spoke to Rolling Stone on how carefully Trump inspected the network at the time. Trump had just made his announcement “during the run-up to 2016,” recalls Bolling, who is now a Newsmax host. I spoke out in favor of Trump on Fox’s The Five. Even when we were live on the air, Dana Perino would frequently become really enraged with me because of how much she despised him.
The former Fox personality remembered that things “became especially heated” in one of the episodes from June 2015. Bolling claims that Trump called her after the show while she was watching. On the basis of her allegations that I had motives “for sticking up for Trump” in addition to opining, he advised me to sue Perino for libel.
Trump is also aware of the influence that conservative media currently wields, and he is still upset over the Drudge Report souring on him during his presidency. According to a source who recently spoke with Trump about the Fox News primary, he didn’t appreciate losing Drudge. He wants to keep as many people in line as he can, but he also believes that those who stray can always turn around.
Maybe he needs them. Trump is facing competition once more after years of dominance in the Republican Party. DeSantis has improved his chances of winning the presidency by endorsing Trumpism, which includes many of the former president’s policies and his attention-grabbing political approach. Additionally, he currently benefits from holding office. Trump’s growing hostility toward DeSantis is motivated by his concern that the governor will be more popular and have less baggage among influential Republicans and contributors.
Trump’s concern with how Fox News treated him was a defining characteristic of both his presidency and his 2016 campaign blitz. When he appeared on Fox News programs, for example, he would always ask “his executive assistant” Rhona Graff to ask the Fox host or staff if they could send him the precise ratings data of his interview or hit that he had just done. Sam Nunberg, a former Trump political adviser, told The Daily Beast in 2020, was one of those guests. He would occasionally just ask them personally. They frequently wouldn’t send him the numbers themselves, only something along the effect of “They were wonderful, you won.” He constantly wanted the ratings so he could tweet them, and he maintained very careful tabs on them.
Murdoch’s company and the Trump White House shared a rotating staff, with Trump basically evaluating applicants for administration positions based on their appearances on the network. Numerous members of the Trump administration could bothboast of having worked for the president and Fox News. bothboast of having worked for the president and Fox News. The network evolved during his administration into a devoted propaganda apparatus with access to the executive. Along with the president, they were made to face an unexpected defeat in the 2020 election.
Fox News has traditionally been seen as the former president’s supporter; while he battled to find a way to steal the election from the people and keep his position of power, the network assisted his electoral lies. The attempted takeover of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 would result from Trump’s allegations of election fraud, leaving conservative media to handle one of the biggest political clean-up tasks in the country’s history.
The on-air accusations made by hosts who backed the president, such as Jeannine Pirro, Lou Dobbs, and Maria Bartiromo, cost Fox $4 billion in defamation lawsuits the backing of the makers of voting machines. The network was compelled to curtail its on-air promotion of Trump’s alleged election conspiracies, which the former president still views as a cornerstone of his developing reelection campaign.
Anyone who spends even a brief amount of time watching Fox News will quickly see that the network continues to be a strong advocate for Trump and his political agenda. However, the former president has recently noticed that several formerly cordial media outlets have become less so, and he is expressing his displeasure.
Following a series of disclosures from the Jan. 6 committee exposing Trump’s failure to step in and stop the violence that occurred during the congressional certification of electoral college ballots, the New York Post’s Editorial Board declared Trump unworthy to be this countrys chief executive again, published an opinion piece. Separately, the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board attacked the previous President for doing nothing on January 6, saying that Mr. Trump had completely failed the test of his integrity and fidelity to his oath of office. News Corp., owned by Rupert Murdoch, is the owner of both papers.
Trump responded to the complaints on his Truth Social social media page.
On Monday, Trump publicly displayed his Fox obsession by criticizing the Fox and Friends hosts for their coverage of a survey taken at an event hosted by the conservative student organization Turning Point USA. According to the survey, 80% of attendees planned to support Trump.
Trump said that Fox and Friends had turned against him.