Former President Donald Trump returned to CNN for his first live appearance in over five years.
The New Hampshire event, in which Trump was interviewed on stage by anchor Kaitlan Collins and also took questions from a live audience, led to instant consternation inside CNN, as well as a big plunge in the network’s ratings in the weeks since.
Now, Trump is set to appear on another network, and yet another with which he’s clashed in the recent past.
Donald Trump and Fox Have a History
Unlike the CNN town hall, this next appearance will not be shown live, but rather taped earlier in the day, which is what Fox has been doing with Trump interviews recently.
The announcement of the interview shows that relations between Trump and Fox have once again thawed. Fox had soft-pedaled coverage of the former president around the time of his campaign announcement last November, and as recently as March, there were reports that a “soft ban” had been imposed on Trump by the network.
That “ban” was relaxed throughout the spring, which coincided with Trump emerging as the clear Republican frontrunner in 2024, with Trump sitting for an interview with Hannity in late March and another with Tucker Carlson in April, prior to that host’s departure from Fox.
Fox, meanwhile, has suffered a ratings decline of its own, since its announcement that Carlson, its 8 p.m. host for the bulk of the Trump and post-Trump eras, had been dropped. Carlson’s firing came just a week after Fox announced a $787 million settlement with Dominion Voting System. The fallout occurred when numerous embarrassing text messages by Carlson came to light. These included everything from profane shots at Fox executives to his admission that he hated Trump “with a passion.”
The Fox town hall with Trump comes at a time of whispers that the conservative media center of gravity is shifting from Fox News toward Twitter, with Carlson announcing that he will bring his show to that platform, and Ron DeSantis announcing his challenge to Trump in a Twitter Space, with the implied support of Elon Musk himself.
Laura, Laura, Laura
Ingraham has been what many would consider an informal adviser to Donald Trump in the past, and even spoke at the Republican convention in 2016, although that was prior to her becoming a Fox News prime-time host. But that appears to have gone out the window now.
“Laura Ingraham on FoxNews just did a hit piece on me (there go her ratings!) showing some polls which indicate that Ron DeSanctimonious may do better against Biden than I would, when actually polls show that I do MUCH better against Biden than ‘Rob,’” Trump said on Truth Social Monday, later urging his audience to watch Newsmax’s Greg Kelly instead.
“I’m also leading DeSanctus by over 40 points in Primary Voting. Watch Greg Kelly on Newsmax at 10:00 P.M.”
In response to rumors last week that Ingraham might be dropped from Fox’s weekday primetime lineup, a network spokesperson told the media that Ingraham “is now and will continue to be a prominent host and integral part of the Fox News lineup.”
CNN, meanwhile, has announced town halls with former Vice President Mike Pence and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, on June 7 and June 4, respectively, even though Pence has not yet officially declared that he’s running.
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.