Further evidence that appears to be distancing Fox News from former President Trump was in plain sight for all to see Monday night after teasing an interview with Trump, but not before his GOP rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, stole the spotlight.
At the start of Sean Hannity’s 9 p.m. show on the once Trump-leaning network, Hannity looked ahead at what was to come in his hour-long broadcast, which included an “exclusive” interview with the former president.
However, less than 20 minutes into the broadcast, in what was a clear disapproval, there was not a single sign of Trump. Instead, DeSantis, his closest GOP rival, was given free reign on the air despite Hannity having been a friend of Trump for more than 20 years.
The network, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch and has boosted Trump’s rise from real estate developer and reality TV star to the White House, now regularly bypasses him to poke fun at other Republicans.
Monday’s Hannity show was a prime example of the network effectively displacing him from his favorite place: the center of the news cycle.
Fox News appeared to distance itself from former President Trump by giving Florida Governor Ron DeSantis a decent amount of airtime ahead of Trump’s interview on Monday
In the end, while teasing an exclusive interview with Trump, the network only repeated a broadcast of his earlier call to Sean Hannity’s radio program.
In the end, the “exclusive” interview with Trump turned out to be a repeat of earlier in the day when the former president called into Sean Hannity’s radio show on Monday afternoon.
The skepticism towards the former president extends to the highest levels of the company. The Murdochs’ discomfort with Trump stems from the fact that he still refuses to accept his election loss.
In what can only be seen as a demotion in terms of Trump’s stature with the network, his plummet in prime time pending orders is perhaps no small coincidence.
Fox News now takes center stage a massive libel lawsuit in which it must defend itself over how it covered false claims around the 2020 presidential election.
Eye-catching evidence has emerged in recent weeks from court filings revealing a split-screen between what Fox showed its viewers about the false allegations of election fraud and what hosts and executives said about them behind the scenes.
Fox News, once Trump-leaning, now regularly features other Republicans like DeSantis
Former President Donald Trump is speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland this weekend
“Sydney Powell is lying,” Fox News host Tucker Carlson said in a text message to a producer, referring to one of the attorneys who advanced the claims for Trump.
In an email a few weeks after the 2020 election, Fox Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch described a press conference with Powell and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, another attorney who exposed the election lies: “Really crazy stuff. And harmful.’
In its $1.6 billion lawsuit, voting machine maker Dominion Voting Systems argues that Fox repeatedly made allegations that the company helped rig the general election against Trump, despite many at the news organization privately believing the claims were false.
Fox says the law allows such claims to be aired if they are newsworthy.
Fox News now seems to have pushed Trump out of the center of the news cycle. He is pictured here during a March 2020 Fox News Channel town hall in Scranton, Pennsylvania
During Monday’s interview, the Florida governor wouldn’t be asked if he could run for president in 2024, but insisted he was “laser-focused” on the state of Florida
In its $1.6 billion lawsuit, voting machine maker Dominion Voting Systems argues that Fox News repeatedly made allegations that the company helped rig the general election against Trump, despite many at the news organization privately believing the claims were false. Pictured Dominion Voting Machines
Dominion says Fox was basically torn between the truth that Joe Biden legitimately won the race and pleasing viewers who wanted to believe Trump’s lies.
In statements released last week, Murdoch argued that Fox as a network did not endorse the claims, but that some of its commentators — Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs, Jeanine Pirro and Sean Hannity — sometimes did.
Murdoch was one of many at Fox who privately said they did not believe claims by Trump and his allies that widespread fraud cost him his re-election.
In his statement, Murdoch said he could have prevented conspiracy theorists from going on the air, but he didn’t.
During Monday’s interview, Florida’s governor was said to be uninterested in whether he could run for president in 2024, insisting he was “laser-focused” on the state of Florida.
“Give us a few months and we’ll be in a better position to make a decision about the future.”
“I think it’s fair to say that people come up to me and ask me to do it all the time. I am very good at taking one step at a time and focusing on the task at hand. I don’t get too deep into the field with anything. I have to complete the mission here. When we’re further along, we’ll take a look.’