Are Donald Trump and Fox News breaking up at last? – The former president and Fox News have had a fraught relationship for years. Now, Trump is speaking out about the network appearing to tilt towards Ron DeSantis.
And much of the time, that was true.
Fox News and Donald Trump: The History
But the Trump/Fox relationship has also had its ups and downs.
There was, of course, the famous moment when Trump argued with then-Fox anchor Megyn Kelly during a 2015 presidential debate, after which he insulted Kelly, Fox sided with him, and Kelly eventually left the network.
Throughout his presidency, Donald Trump was never shy about calling out Fox News when he felt they weren’t being positive enough about him, and Trump later exploded at Fox after they called Arizona on Election Night in 2020, and spent the ensuing weeks refusing to go along with his election lies.
This led to a huge story last week, in which a series of text messages and other communications came to light in which it was clear that most of the big-name Fox hosts did not believe in Trump’s election claims, even as they sometimes said the opposite on the air.
The messages, released as part of Dominion Voter Systems’ lawsuit against the network, also showed that the Fox talent worried that the network would lose market share to the likes of Newsmax and One America News, both of which were less reluctant to go on the air with bogus election fraud claims.
Even the company’s chairman, Rupert Murdoch, had dismissed some of the “stolen election” claims as “really crazy stuff.”
Fox host Tucker Carlson, in the text, also ripped a Fox reporter named Jacqui Heinrich, who tweeted a fact-check of a Trump claim. “Please get her fired,” Carlson said in the texts. “It needs to stop immediately, like tonight. It’s measurably hurting the company. The stock price is down. Not a joke.” Heinrich was not fired, although she did delete the tweet.
“So interesting to watch FoxNews cover the small and unenthusiastic 139-person crowd in Staten Island for DeSantis, but stay as far away as possible from coverage of the thousands of people, many unable to get in, at the Club 47 event in West Palm Beach, Florida,” Trump said on Truth Social Tuesday. “I call FoxNews the RINO Network, and their DOWN BIG Ratings accurately reflect the name. If FAKE NEWS CNN was smart, which they’re not, they’d go Conservative & “All Trump, All the Time,” like in 2016, and become a Ratings Juggernaut.’”
The Hill reported last December that Murdoch had officially decided to no longer back Donald Trump.
Since then some Murdoch media properties, including the New York Post, have made a show of denigrating Donald Trump in their coverage. Murdoch-owned outlets have also been praising DeSantis of late, even though DeSantis has not officially entered the race yet.
A recent Fox News headline, for instance, stated that “DeSantis racks up wins while Trump, potential 2024 opponents take swipes at Florida governor.”
Trump has recently ripped DeSantis on Truth Social, in part by accusing the Florida governor of wanting to cut Social Security and Medicare, and continuing to call him “Ron DeSanctimonious,” while rejecting the alleged proposed nickname “Meatball Ron.”
“It is crucial that conservatives play an active, forceful role in that debate, but that will not happen if President Trump stays focused on the past,” Murdoch said at a News Corp. stockholder meeting in November of 2021. “The past is the past, and the country is now in a contest to define the future.”
But as The Hill noted, Trump and Fox have made up before, even after periods of discontent, and that could happen again.
Expertise and Experience: Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.