Fox News and The New York Post, two of the major conservative outlets affiliated with media mogul Robert Murdock, began distancing themselves in recent hours from Donald Trump for the first time since 2016 in what could mark a turning point.
For the first time, Trump supporters in Phoenix, Arizona, chanted, “Fox News is bad!” After this channel had been considered a steadfast ally for five years.
The reason is that the channel announced the victory of Democratic candidate Joe Biden in Arizona on Tuesday evening. Jared Kushner, Trump’s advisor, and son-in-law called Murdock to push the channel back, to no avail, while other media outlets declined to announce a winner pending the end of the vote count in this key state.
Since that night, Fox News has dealt with extreme caution with accusations by the camp of the outgoing president and Trump himself of massive electoral fraud.
“We have not seen” evidence, Brett Bayer, a prominent political journalist for the channel, confirmed Friday. “They didn’t show us anything,” he added.
Is “Fox News” on the road to abandoning Trump after contributing to his unexpected victory in 2016?
Depot University media professor Geoffrey McCall noted that Fox News has always been a two-sided channel.
On the one hand, there are a number of star presidents who are closer to columnists than to journalists and hard-line conservatives, and on the other hand, there is a more moderate editorial board.
Many of the channel’s journalists, such as Chris Wallace, who directed the first presidential debate, are known for their professionalism.
Among the presenters, the channel’s star, Sean Hannity, who is very close to Donald Trump, said Thursday evening that “Americans are right to question … in the lack of belief in the legitimacy of these results.”
Jeffrey McCall said the handling of the Donald Trump issue in recent days and the early announcement of Joe Biden’s victory in Arizona reveal “Fox News’ efforts to work as independently as possible from the columnists.”
But for Reese Beck, author of “Fox Populism,” which deals with the channel, this distraction “could alienate some viewers and encourage them to go to another channel like + ONA +”, the small news channel that unreservedly supports Donald Trump.
Behind this channel, which reached a record number of viewers for cable channel – 14.1 million viewers on election nightstands media mogul Robert Murdock as well.
The “Daily Beast” site indicates that Murdock, known for his conservative views, accepted the idea of Joe Biden winning for months.
“I don’t see the Murdock family call the editorial staff to explain to Brett Bayer how to cover this or that story,” said Jeffrey McCall.
“Foretells wind direction”
Reyes Beck said the second institution created by the 1980s media mogul, The New York Post, could be “a more faithful reflection of Murdock’s views.”
He added that the billionaire “has much more control” over the “New York Post” than he controls “Fox News”.
While the presidential vote-counting took a long time, delaying the announcement of the winner, the New York Post did not report any of the Trump camp’s assumptions that election fraud was taking place.
Just a few days ago, the newspaper was reporting accusations – issued by close associates of Donald Trump – against Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son.
On Friday, two articles in the opinion pages acknowledged that Donald Trump would likely be defeated, a scenario that would reject the outgoing president tenaciously.
The City University of New York professor Rhys Beck said that Murdock “sometimes predicts the direction of political winds.”
He made it clear that Joe Biden was one of the moderate Democrats who could accept their presence. He continued, “Biden does not scare the American business community very much.”
Jeffrey McCall said that the “Fox News” press wing was overwhelmed at times, but stars such as Sean Hannity or Tucker Carlson remained the basis for attracting the channel’s audience and making it profitable.
Whether Donald Trump remains on the political scene or not, he added, “Fox News” will continue “to strike a balance with the so-called mass media” close to the Democrats.
It is expected to remain the number one destination for millions of conservative viewers.