The New York Times reported Friday that Fox News has not had Donald Trump on its network in over 100 days, which the paper said was part of a larger strategy to eliminate the former president as a major GOP player.
Trump’s last appearance on Fox News came April 13 on “Hannity.” Click here to join Todd’s private Facebook page for conservatives.
But, The Times noted, even Trump has complained his longtime friend “doesn’t seem to be paying him much attention anymore.”
The paper said Trump believes Fox’s strategy of shunning him is an effort in “effectively displacing him” from the news cycle and as de facto leader of the Republican Party.
The decision to shun Trump has been made at “the highest levels” of Fox’s parent company, and is backed by its billionaire chairman, Rupert Murdoch, and his son, company CEO Lachlan Murdoch.
The snubs are not coincidental, according to several people close to Mr. Murdoch’s Fox Corporation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the company’s operations. This month, The New York Post and The Wall Street Journal, both owned by Mr. Murdoch, published blistering editorials about Mr. Trump’s actions concerning the Jan. 6, 2021, riot on the Capitol.
The skepticism toward the former president extends to the highest levels of the company, according to two people with knowledge of the thinking of Mr. Murdoch, the chairman, and his son Lachlan, the chief executive. It also reflects concerns that Republicans in Washington, like Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader, have expressed to the Murdochs about the potential harm Mr. Trump could cause to the party’s chances in upcoming elections, especially its odds of taking control of the Senate.The New York Times
Earlier this month, the Murdoch-owned newspapers the New York Post and The Wall Street Journal published harsh rebukes of Trump’s actions regarding Jan. 6 while strongly opposing a Trump bid for president in 2024.
The Times said Trump’s failure to accept the 2020 election result was at the root of the Murdochs’ criticism of the former president, a view shared by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
The Murdochs’ discomfort with Mr. Trump stems from his refusal to accept his election loss, according to two people familiar with those conversations, and is generally in sync with the views of Republicans, like Mr. McConnell, who mostly supported the former president but long ago said the election was settled and condemned his efforts to overturn it.
One person familiar with the Murdochs’ thinking said they remained insistent that Fox News had made the right call when its decision desk projected that Joseph R. Biden would win Arizona just after 11 p.m. on the night of the election — a move that infuriated Mr. Trump and short-circuited his attempt to prematurely declare victory. This person said Lachlan Murdoch had privately described the decision desk’s call, which came days before other networks concluded that Mr. Trump had lost the state, as something only Fox “had the courage and science to do.”The New York Times
Trump has not hidden his new distaste for Fox News.
Shortly after his loss to Joe Biden, Trump blamed the network’s negative coverage of his presidency for his 2020 election loss.
And, this week, Trump blasted “Fox & Friends” on his Truth Social account for being “terrible” and having “gone to the dark side.”
Trump suggested former House Speaker Paul Ryan’s sitting on Fox Corp.’s board of directors is behind the shadow banning of Trump.
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Meanwhile, The Times said Fox has sought to displace Trump with other GOP 2024 contenders, notably Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis.
A recent FoxNews.com report featured man-on-the-street interviews with Trump “supporters” who did not want him to run again and “unanimously” backed DeSantis for 2024.
“I spent 11 years at Fox, and I know nothing pretaped hits a Fox screen that hasn’t been signed off on and sanctioned at the very top levels of management — especially when it has to do with a presidential election,” Newsmax host Eric Bolling said in a monologue this week.
Dick Morris, a former Fox News Analyst who is currently with Newsmax, said The Times’ report should not surprise anyone who has been watching Fox.
“Lachlan Murdoch and the network’s leadership wants Fox to be more like CNN,” Morris said.
“The Fox ban of Trump is a politically motivated decision, not based on news value, because Trump completely dominates the Republican Party and is still the biggest newsmaker in politics,” Morris added.
Recent polls show Trump crushing all potential opponents in a Republican primary.
A recent Harvard-Harris poll had Trump pulling 56% of the vote against a field of seven GOP rivals, including DeSantis with 16%.