Remember former House Speaker Paul Ryan? I don’t.
But a new report from Vanity Fair describing the chaos inside Fox News — where Ryan serves as a board member — reminded readers that he’s still something of a player in conservative politics. And according to the report, written by journalist Gabriel Sherman, Ryan is now, after having given up all his constitutional power, finally interested in standing up to the president.
The report describes the behind-the-scenes crisis emerging at Fox, which has been thrown into turmoil as the Democrats’ rapid impeachment push knocks the network off-kilter. Most dramatically, that disruption has played out in an on-air feud between hosts Shep Smith and Tucker Carlson. Sherman found that Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace felt compelled to intervene and tell Smith to back off, though a spokesperson for the network denied this claim.
The report continued:
The ultimate referee of this fight will be Lachlan Murdoch. In recent months, Rupert’s oldest son has been holding strategy conversations with Fox executives and anchors about how Fox News should prepare for life after Trump. Among the powerful voices advising Lachlan that Fox should decisively break with the president is former House speaker Paul Ryan, who joined the Fox board in March. “Paul is embarrassed about Trump and now he has the power to do something about it,” an executive who’s spoken with Ryan told me. (Ryan did not return a call seeking comment.) But a person more sympathetic to Trump has told Lachlan that Fox should remain loyal to Trump’s supporters, even if the network has to break from the man.
Of course, Ryan had significant power to stand up to Trump and “do something about” him in 2017 and 2018, when he was House speaker. But ultimately, he wouldn’t have gotten that job in the first place if he wasn’t willing to put the interests of the GOP over the interests of the country, which these days is a requirement for party membership.