Elon Musk’s Twitter has been replacing Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News as the leader in breaking news with conservative media, with the right turning away from the broadcast network and centering on Twitter for news on the Republican Party while the 2024 election rolls into play.
In the past month since Fox News fired its prime-time star, Tucker Carlson, Fox’s ratings in the 8 p.m. hour have sunk, with viewers flocking to rival Newsmax, and Carlson unveiled plans to bring a “new version” of his Fox News show to Twitter, proclaiming that “the news you consume is a lie,” reports Axios.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign launch through Twitter Spaces, although plagued by glitches that crippled his launch for more than 20 minutes, marked a turning point in how conservatives are breaking news.
The glitchy start came as part of DeSantis’ media strategy in the 2024 race, which is to ignore the mainstream media, for the most part, and stick to conservative outlets, reports Axios.
He has said he believes the mainstream outlets to be too partisan, telling libertarian John Stossel in an interview last week that he is “not going to sit there and humor them and treat them as some neutral arbiter.”
Fox News did conduct what it billed as DeSantis’ “first national TV interview” after the announcement, holding it with former South Carolina GOP congressman Trey Gowdy, now a network host.
The interview took place during Carlson’s former show spot, which has been rebranded as “Fox News Tonight.”
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But by bypassing Fox News for Twitter, DeSantis sent a signal to conservatives that he considers Fox News to be part of the mainstream media, Axios noted.
Conservative outlets are also launching attacks through Twitter at Fox News. For example, after Heritage Foundation-owned publication The Daily Signal reported on a leak from a 2021 Fox News employee handbook that said workers there can use bathrooms aligned with their gender identity, Twitter was lit up with outraged comments from conservative voices.
“Fox News is fully woke on trans ideology,” Matt Walsh, one of The Daily Wire’s top podcasters, tweeted, adding that with Carlson gone, “there’s no stopping Fox’s march leftward.”
A spokesperson for Fox said that the company complies with all human rights laws that are mandated by cities and states where they operate, including in New York and California.
Meanwhile, Musk has said he plans to vote Republican but it is not clear which candidate he would support, even with DeSantis using his platform Wednesday for his announcement.
Last year he said he would back the Florida governor if he ran for president, but last week praised Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., after his announcement that he was joining the race.
Musk said Tuesday he wants “someone fairly normal” sitting in the White House in 2024, but didn’t say who he will endorse.
In recent weeks, Fox News has been appearing to shift away from former President Donald Trump with its coverage, reports Axios, but it granted him an interview with Carlson shortly before the primetime star was fired in the wake of the network’s $757 million settlement with Dominion Voting Systems.
And even with the movement toward Twitter and other conservative news sites, Fox remains the highest-rated cable network in the United States, drawing 1.5 million viewers per night in prime time.
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However, cable news is declining, with just 66 million households now paying for cable television.
Twitter, as a private company, does not report exact figures but estimates show roughly 55 million people in the United States will be using the social media giant this year.
However, Trump isn’t engaging with the current conservative movement toward Twitter.
Musk has restored his account, which was suspended after the Jan. 6, 2021 protests at the Capitol, but the former president has chosen to remain on Truth Social, the Twitter rival he established after he was banned.
Trump hasn’t tweeted any content, but he’s posted on YouTube and Facebook after they restored his accounts.