Trump's Chilly Reception at Fox News
Former President Donald Trump's recent return to Fox News after months of absence received a mixed response from some of his former media allies, highlighting his uncertain position within the Republican Party. While Sean Hannity, the Fox News anchor who interviewed Trump, allowed him to discuss his usual talking points, the network is no longer the Trump safe space it once was.
Fox News Personalities Critique Trump's Interview
After Trump's interview aired, Fox News personalities such as Laura Ingraham and Jason Chaffetz criticized the former president for dwelling on the past and playing the victim card. Even Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade, co-hosts of "Fox & Friends," expressed their disapproval of Trump's performance.
Trump Interview Ratings Fall Short of Past Numbers
In the past, a Trump interview would deliver Fox News's biggest audience of the day. However, this time, Trump's interview garnered 3.04 million viewers, higher than an average episode of "Hannity" but below the day's viewership for "The Five" and "Tucker Carlson Tonight."
Fox News Cautious Amid Dominion Voting Systems Lawsuit
As a defamation suit filed by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox News progresses, the network took extra precautions with Trump's interview, which was taped instead of live. Trump's baseless claims about a "rigged" 2020 election are central to the Dominion case, making a live appearance potentially risky for the network.
DeSantis Leans on Murdoch-Owned Media for Exposure
Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida continues to rely on Fox News and other Murdoch-owned media for his major appearances while avoiding other conservative-friendly outlets. DeSantis has leaned heavily on venues controlled by Murdoch, even those based overseas, for media exposure.
Signs of Waning Fox News Support for DeSantis?
As DeSantis's poll numbers soften, there are indications that he may only sometimes be able to count on Fox News's support. Jesse Watters, a co-host of "The Five," recently advised DeSantis to speak up, suggesting that Trump's attacks are causing damage to the Florida governor's image.