Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Donald Trump and Fox News Have Gone to War

Donald Trump speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
Donald Trump speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.

These guys should get along swimmingly. Former President Donald Trump and Fox News should be close allies, but they are now estranged.

Most of the trouble in this relationship goes back to the 2020 presidential election in which the Fox News election coverage team called Arizona for Joe Biden.

The Trump White House went apoplectic believing that Arizona should have been in their win column and that it was too early to make such a pivotal decision that would throw the election in Biden’s favor.

Donald Trump and Fox News: It’s a Complicated Relationship

Donald Trump and his allies are still mad, more so at Fox News executives than at individual on-air hosts Trump still appreciates such as Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson who he calls “brave and patriotic.” Trump has complained that the network doesn’t cover his rallies in their entirety although Fox did show some of the former president’s last speech at CPAC March 4.

He said in his CPAC address that “I hope Fox doesn’t turn off.”

Rupert Murdoch Is Public Enemy Number One in Trump Land

Donald Trump has gone after Fox News Rupert Murdoch by incessantly trolling him and his executive team as “a group of MAGA hating globalist RINOs,” who are “destroying America.” Donald Trump Jr. hasn’t appeared on Fox in several months and he has dismissed the conservative cable network as having an “America Last, war forever, garbage, fold-to-the-Democrats agenda.”

It was also a CPAC that Trump loyalist Steve Bannon cried foul. “Murdoch, you’ve deemed Trump’s not going to be president,” Bannon said in a speech. “But we deem that you’re not going to have a network, because we’re going to fight you every step of the way.”

Unearthed Emails and Texts Have Infuriated Trump

This rancor has come from the discovery process during the $1.6 billion defamation suit against Fox News brought by Dominion Voting Systems.

Numerous emails and texts have become publicized that showed animus toward Trump by the higher-ups at Fox.

Murdoch has said in these electronic communications that he wanted to make Trump a non-person. Former Speaker of the House and current Fox board member Paul Ryan has also said negative things about Trump that were uncovered in the missives made available during the adjudication of the lawsuit.

Fox News Coverage of Trump Has Been Minimized

Fox on-air coverage of Trump has changed. He no longer comes on the shows by phone for media hits that would normally have enthralled his supporters.

Aside from the CPAC speech, his public appearances are often not covered, which is a substantial change from when many Trump rallies were aired in their entirety during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Ron DeSantis is the New Boy Wonder on Fox

Trump is also mad because Fox has lately given ample coverage to his greatest rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

The network has helped DeSantis publicize his new book and often cites the governor’s success in fighting the culture wars in his state. During the week starting February 27, DeSantis received five live appearances on Fox.

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Some in Trump’s orbit such as campaign spokesman Jason Miller have attempted to negotiate something of a “peace treaty” between Fox and Trump. Miller pointed out that the Trump is the frontrunner in the race to become the Republican presidential nominee and that it would not be wise to turn off his supporters who would normally be big fans of Fox.

Fox Is Losing Viewers to Competing Networks

Fox News dominates cable news ratings across numerous categories and time frames, but competing networks such as Newsmax and One America News are gaining viewers who were devotees of Fox News. My father-in-law, a huge Trump supporter, refuses to watch Fox and now exclusively tunes into Newsmax because of what he believes was unfair reporting against Trump in 2020 by Rupert Murdoch’s network.

Trump Is Still Paying Attention to Fox

Trump still watches Fox News though to keep tabs on how he is being treated. Tucker Carlson, who has said less than positive comments about Trump on some of the publicized emails and texts, still delivers coverage that Trump is happy with. Carlson has downplayed the significance of the January 6 riots and has claimed the event was not deadly and was not an insurrection.

Trump said that Carlson was doing a “great job.”

Trump and Fox News are likely to make up and be friends again. How can the network cover an election without giving Trump air play? But look for Fox to give equal coverage to other candidates running for president, especially if DeSantis officially gets into the race. Trump and his allies are liable to keep complaining, but Fox will eventually air Trump events, even though it may not be the love fest that it was in 2015 and 2016.

MORE: Hunter Biden Looks Doomed

MORE: Joe Biden: Too Old To Be President?

MORE: Kamala Harris Could Be Replaced?

MORE: Donald Trump Headed to Jail? 

MORE: Joe Biden Keeps Breaking the Law

Author Expertise and Experience: 

Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.

Written By

Now serving as 1945s New Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, PhD, is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer.