As Donald Trump plunges headlong into his third bid for the presidency, he appears to be getting the cold shoulder from Fox News which could hinder his chances of re-election.
That is the opinion of New York Times media analyst Michael Grynbaum who noted that hosts on the conservative network are not only not reflexively leaping to the former president's defense, but are becoming increasingly critical of his actions and comments.
As he explains, any belief Trump may have that Fox News is a "safe space" where he can say what he wants is turning out to be a massive miscalculation.
In part, Trump's growing split with Fox began on election night in 2020 when the network's anchors reported that he had lost Arizona, which infuriated the Trump camp and led to a flurry of phone calls demanding a retraction despite the network's analysts being correct.
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Since then it has been downhill and recent comments by prominent hosts have demonstrated that the split is widening.
As Grynbaum noted, normally reliable Trump supporter Jason Chaffetz -- a former GOP House member -- recently lashed out at the former president after his recent interview with Fox News personality Sean Hannity.
“I voted for Donald Trump twice, I have defended him countless times; I thought he was horrific,” Mr. Chaffetz said. “I think that was the worst interview I’ve seen the president do.”
Grybaum went on to report that Chaffetz went on to "criticize the former president for 'whining,' 'complaining' and playing 'the victim card.' Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade, two of the co-hosts of the morning show 'Fox & Friends,' also knocked Mr. Trump’s performance."
Worse still, he wrote, Fox viewers also appear to be tuning the former president out.
"Nielsen ratings — one of Mr. Trump’s preferred metrics — provided their own kind of tough review. In past years, a Trump interview almost always delivered Fox News’s biggest audience of the day. On Monday, Mr. Trump drew 3.04 million viewers, higher than the average episode of 'Hannity' but well below that day’s viewership for 'The Five' and 'Tucker Carlson Tonight,'" he added.
He then added, "With a defamation suit against Fox News filed by Dominion Voting Systems hurtling toward a trial, it was notable that Mr. Hannity’s interview with Mr. Trump was taped. Mr. Trump’s baseless claims about a 'rigged' 2020 election are central to the Dominion case; a live appearance by Mr. Trump in which he repeats those claims could be hazardous for the network. It could also put a Fox News anchor in the awkward position of having to contradict Mr. Trump on the air, the kind of exchange that could easily go viral and turn off some of the network’s viewers."
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