Donald Trump’s Fox News divorce
While Marjorie Taylor Greene is hoping to foment a second American Civil War with talk of secession of red states from the Union, there’s a real divorce silently going on. Unofficially, Fox News has banned live appearances by Donald Trump on the network. There’s a reason for this. Fox chairman and real-life Darth Vader, Rupert Murdoch, doesn’t want to help Trump get the Republican nomination.
Trump hasn’t been seen on the main Fox channel since he declared his candidacy for the 2024 presidential nomination last November. One reason is Rupert Murdoch has had enough of Trump and the trouble he’s caused the network, sources say. But it’s more than that. Murdoch also believes that Trump can’t win a second term, so he’s cynically decided to oppose a Trump nomination because he thinks Trump could be the long term ruin of the Republican Party.
Murdoch is fully aware of the role Fox News played in getting Trump elected in 2016. But it wasn’t even a gamble to promote him back then, because win or lose Trump was good for ratings. Back then Trump also represented a potent rallying point for most Republicans. But today Trump is simply no longer popular enough. Donald Trump isn’t the only one missing a strong sense of loyalty.
So out he goes. And without Fox in his corner, Trump’s chances, never that great to begin with, just got worse. What’s a fascist to do?
Well, if your name is Donald Trump, you’ll do what Donald Trump always does. You’ll viciously turn on your old friend. Today Trump rants about the corporation on “Truth” Social and labels Fox News “fake news,” something we’ve known all along. But he’s turned on them for the sin of substandard zeal, the same reason he turns on everyone. It’s still true in what remains of MAGAland, if you’re not rabidly pro Trump then you’re nobody.
“So interesting to watch FoxNews cover the small and unenthusiastic 139 person crowd in Staten Island for DeSantis,” Trump whined on “Truth Social,” “but stay as far away as possible from coverage of the thousands of people, many unable to get in, at the Club 47 event in West Palm Beach, Florida. I call FoxNews the RINO Network, and their DOWN BIG Ratings accurately reflect the name.”
Of course, it goes without saying that if Trump should become the 2024 nominee, Fox News would enthusiastically cover and endorse him. But revelations leaking in Georgia and elsewhere suggest that one or more criminal indictments may be coming Trump’s way. It will be interesting to see what happens to his candidacy under those circumstances, to say the least.
Even so, considering that if Trump were indicted tomorrow, we are probably months (if not years) away from a trial and months (if not years) away from a verdict. So a precedent-breaking run for the presidency by Trump under the shadow of an indictment is still in the realm of the possible. No doubt about it, brothers and sisters, we live in interesting times. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.