Donald Trump is “soft-banned” on Fox News: Amid the stories, from the Dominion lawsuit, about Fox News executives and hosts admitting behind the scenes that his election lies were just that, there’s now a “soft ban” in place that has mostly kept Donald Trump off that channel.
A Wall Street Journal editorial stated that “Trump is the Republican Party’s Biggest Loser,” while the Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post was even nastier.
Trump and Fox News Have Drama
Then, last month, stories emerged from the Dominion Voting System lawsuits against Fox, that Fox News hosts did not believe that the 2020 election was really stolen from Trump and that Murdoch didn’t believe them either.
Murdoch also said, in a released deposition, that Fox host and noted Trump loyalist Sean Hannity was “privately disgusted” with Trump following the aftermath of the 2020 election. Murdoch is even reported to have ordered Fox “to make Trump a non-person,” after the January 6 insurrection.
Now, a new report says that there’s been a “soft ban” of Trump on Fox News shows.
According to Semafor, Trump’s team believes he’s been banned, to some degree, on Fox.
“Everyone knows that there’s this ‘soft ban’ or ‘silent ban,’” someone described as a “source close to Trump” told Semafor this week.
“It’s certainly — however you want to say, quiet ban, soft ban, whatever it is — indicative of how the Murdochs feel about Trump in this particular moment.”
Donald Trump has not appeared on Fox News for an interview since he announced in 2024 candidacy in November.
His appearance with Hannity back in September, when he infamously told the host that the president has the power to classify documents “by thinking about it.”
Since then, Fox has done a lot of stories about announced and rumored Republican presidential candidates, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. But Donald Trump has mostly been out of sight.
The report added that the network’s prime-time hosts have made attempts to book Trump, although such appearances haven’t happened.
The ban, to the degree it exists, does not apply to Fox News’ digital operation.
“The understanding is that they’re [Fox] not to have Trump on for an interview because the Murdochs have made it pretty clear they want to move on from Trump … Fox is showing that by not having him on,” one operative said.
Fox typically hosts at least one Republican primary presidential debate, so Donald Trump would appear likely to appear on the network then, although that has yet to be scheduled.
Donald Trump Is Angry
Donald Trump was all over the topic on Truth Social Thursday morning.
“Rupert Murdoch should apologize to his viewers and readers for his ridiculous defense of the 2020 Presidential Election,” the former president posted.
“How many forms of cheating and rigging does he have to see? He should also apologize to those anchors who got it right and fire the ones who got it wrong or were afraid to speak up (of which there were many!). It’s time to get rid of Fake News, and call it like it is!”
Trump, in another post, spread a “rumor” that former House Speaker and longtime Trump enemy Paul Ryan, who is now a board member of Fox Corp. and was quoted in some of the news stories about the Dominion lawsuit, “will be fired ‘like a dog’ from the Fox Board,” under the apparent belief that it was Ryan caused Murdoch to turn against Trump.
The previous day, Trump had claimed that Ryan “put his boss, Rupert Murdoch, in great legal and monetary jeopardy by convincing him to to go against his news anchors and their belief that the 2020 Presidential Election was Rigged and Stollen [sic].”
“Fox is going in the wrong direction, ratings are heading down, and Murdoch just threw certain very good people, who were correct, under the bus,” Trump added. “He played right into the enemies camp. Viewers, and MAGA, are not happy!”
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.