For years, Donald Trump and Fox News were inseparable. But the right-wing channel has not covered its former sweetheart with its regular fervor lately.
Trump was consistently called into the news channel whenever he liked, with hosts of the news shows pumping up every Trump utterance. Trump watched the station religiously. In 2019 alone, he sent 657 tweets in response to Fox News or Fox Business programs.
But analysts and experts say they have sensed a shift in the relationship. Trump has not been interviewed on Fox News for more than 100 days.
A recent Trump speech was largely ignored by the right-wing channel. But an address by Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence was broadcast live in its entirety.
Analysts and experts point to a billion-dollar lawsuit that Fox News is embroiled in with Dominion Voting Systems over its claims the voting machine company tampered with the 2020 election. Trump’s continuing lies about election fraud may have rattled Fox News owner and media titan Rupert Murdoch.
Two of Murdoch’s newspapers, the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal, published scathing editorials on Trump in July. The New York Post called Trump “unworthy to be this country’s chief executive again.” The Wall Street Journal branded Trump “The President Who Stood Still on January 6.”
This week Murdoch has reportedly lost his enthusiasm for Trump.
Other Republicans have begun to get their air-time rather than Trump. Pence and Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis have been on the channel a lot, including two prime-time interviews in the space of five days recently. Republican Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton is also said to be elbowing into the 2024 Presidential run and has been a regular interviewee as well.
Trump has recently expressed his displeasure at Fox News output. Trump attacked Fox & Friends in July after host Steve Doocy suggested a straw poll of potential 2024 candidates that showed Trump with 79 percent of the vote be taken with a pinch of salt. Doocy hardly even went off on Trump, he just pointed to other, more scientific, polls that showed Trump lacking 79 percent support. But it did cause upset in Trump.
“Fox & Friends just really botched my poll numbers, no doubt on purpose. That show has been terrible — gone to the ‘dark side’,” Trump posted on his own ailing right-wing social media platform Truth Social.
The Dominion lawsuit could be a reason for Trump’s absence on the network. The company is suing Fox News for $1.6 billion, accusing its owner, Fox Corp, and the Murdochs specifically, of allowing Fox News to amplify Trump’s false claims that the voting company had rigged the election for Biden.