Fox Cuts Away From McEnany's Accusations

Network's relationship with the president shows signs of strain
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2020 7:20 PM CST
Fox Cuts Away From McEnany's Accusations
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, center, speaks, accompanied by Matthew Morgan, Trump campaign general counsel, left, and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, during a news conference at the Republican National Committee on Monday in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

As Donald Trump has risen to president, and throughout his term, Fox News has provided a largely unconditional forum, airing his point of view at press conferences and rallies no matter what was being said. Not Monday. The network cut away from a press conference, the Hill reports, in which White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany made a series of accusations against Democrats involving the election. "Whoa, whoa, whoa," host Neil Cavuto said, per the Daily Beast, talking over McEnany at first. "She is charging that the other side is welcoming fraud and welcoming illegal voting. Unless she has more details to back that up, I can't in good countenance continuing showing you this." There's also the matter of the White House press secretary taking such a role; McEnany said she was acting in a personal capacity. Fox did not return to the press conference. Earlier in the pandemic, Cavuto had strenuously corrected a Trump claim about hydroxychloroquine.

There are indications that the Trump-Fox partnership isn't what it used to be. The Trump team was angered by the network's early election night call that Joe Biden had won Arizona. But the day before, the president had been critical in a call to Fox & Friends—a favorite show on which he's spread conspiracy theories and accusations, per the Washington Post. "This has been a very special show for me," the president said, reminiscing about his frequent calls and his term. But Fox is "much different now," he told the surprised hosts. "In the old days, they wouldn’t put sleepy Joe Biden on every time he opened his mouth. ... It's a much different operation—I'm just telling you." Saying the president now wants to punish the network that long was his favorite, possibly by endorsing another network, aides reported that Trump is almost angrier about what he sees as Fox's betrayal than he is about losing the election. (Three other networks cut away from Trump last week.)

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