Those who are in tune with America’s media landscape, including President Donald J. Trump, have noticed the marked shift of Fox News away from supporting the president and towards the center-left. In fact, but for Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, Fox News has all but turned into CNN Lite.
Trump took a subtle dig at Fox News by praising its main competitor One America News, on Twitter Thursday night.
“Thank you to @OANN One America News for your fair coverage and brilliant reporting. It is appreciated by many people trying so hard to find a new, consistent and powerful VOICE! See you tonight at the Big Rally in Minneapolis,” he said.
On Friday morning, OAN’s Emerald Robinson reported that Fox News has banned Trump’s surrogates from its network, and will stick only with its own in-house commentators as guests on news segments.
“Sources tell me @FoxNews has started to ban Trump surrogates from appearing on most of its programs. Pro-Trump guests who have appeared frequently are no longer welcome, and can’t be booked. Only guests already paid by Fox (“contributors”) will be allowed on air,” Robinson said.
That tweet attracted a fair bit of attention, but 23-year Fox veteran Shepard Smith stole the spotlight when he unexpectedly quit from the network. Smith was the chief news anchor, managing editor of the network’s breaking news unit, and anchor of his weekday news show, Shepard Smith Reporting.
Recently, Smith had a rift with Fox management after he and Carlson took shots at each other on their respective shows. He had also drawn the ire of Trump over the past few months.
“Recently I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News and begin a new chapter. After requesting that I stay, they graciously obliged,” Smith reportedly said in a statement.
The statement was released in conjunction with the end of his last show, during which he signed off forever.
Anchor Neil Cavuto, who has been known to bash Trump himself, took the live handoff from Smith after Smith signed off, and blathered about how “stunned” he was for the first portion of his show.
“I don’t know what to say … A better newsman you cannot find,” Cavuto said.
For years, Fox was billed as the conservative option for cable news viewers. The network was founded as an explicit answer to the far-left media which dominates the rest of the cable landscape. But other than Carlson and Hannity, who have thrived in the Trump era, Fox has not been able to find its identity during Trump’s administration.
It has struggled with outrightly supporting Trump the way it supported previous Republican presidents like George W. Bush. But if Fox is not the answer to the left-wing media, it literally has no purpose for its own existence. The last thing America needs is another liberal cable news network.
In which direction Fox will head – towards supporting Trump, or away from it – remains to be seen. But today’s news of Smith’s resignation certainly is a win for the pro-Trump crowd.
The Smith story is developing, and will be updated accordingly.
Peter D'Abrosca is a freelance investigative reporter, author, and conservative political commentator.
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