Fox News didn’t air any of former President Donald Trump’s recent speech in Washington, D.C., live, a noted shift for the conservative news outlet after effectively serving as an arm of his campaign before and through his presidency.
Trump went to Washington on Tuesday for his first visit to the nation’s capital since he left the White House after losing his reelection bid to Democrat Joe Biden. In his speech, the previous president turned to familiar themes, echoing his lies that the 2020 presidential election was stolen while multiple investigations into his efforts to stay in power and pressure those around him to overturn the Electoral College vote are underway.
“It was catastrophe, that election. A disgrace to our country,” Trump said at a conference of the America First Policy Institute. “I ran the primary time and I won, and I ran a second time, and I did significantly better, got tens of millions and tens of millions of more votes.… It’s a really sad thing.”
Though Fox News hasn’t carried most of Trump’s events live over the past 12 months, because it did while he was in office, Tuesday was notably different: Former Vice President Mike Pence was speaking the identical day, lower than a mile away from his old boss.
Fox News bulletin about 17 minutes of that speech uninterrupted, including moments when Pence — who is taken into account a possible candidate to run for the presidency in 2024 — outlined what he called his “freedom agenda.”
(Some clips from Trump’s speech were broadcast later that night.)
“Some people may decide to give attention to the past, but elections are in regards to the future,” Pence said in his speech Tuesday to the Young America’s Foundation. “I feel conservatives must give attention to the long run to win back America. We will’t afford to take our eyes off the road in front of us because what’s at stake is the very survival of our lifestyle.”
For comp’s sake, Fox showed about 17 minutes of Pence’s speech on Tuesday. Newsmax showed about 10 minutes and talked about it at length. https://t.co/SlRe6vK9jf
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) July 27, 2022
The shift in support from the news network comes amid several searing editorials published by the Recent York Post and The Wall Street Journal last week, papers that, like Fox News, are owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
The editorials slammed the previous president, calling him “unworthy” to carry office again, pointing to his refusal to sentence his supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, with some within the mob calling for Pence to be hanged.
“Trump only wanted one thing during that infamous afternoon: to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to decertify the election of Joe Biden,” the Post’s editorial board wrote Friday. “He thought the violence of his loyal followers would make Pence crack, or delay the vote altogether.”
Fox News aired greater than 20 hours of Trump’s campaign rallies live in 2019 and nine hours over a nine-day period in 2020.
Regardless of your views of the Jan. 6 special committee, the facts it’s laying out in hearings are sobering. Whilst the riot raged on the Capitol, Trump wouldn’t tell his supporters to stop.https://t.co/cSB5jazNm4
— Wall Street Journal Opinion (@WSJopinion) July 23, 2022
Trump appears to have noticed the snubs from Fox News. On Monday, the president took to his social media network to blast “Fox & Friends,” a onetime bastion of Trumpism, for airing polling numbers for a hypothetical matchup of Republican candidates for the 2024 race. Those figures showed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis rising in standing.
“That show has been terrible,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform. “Gone to the ‘dark side.’”