President Donald Trump reportedly wants to embark on a campaign of vengeance against Fox News.
The facts: Axios reported Thursday that Trump is planning to start a digital media company with the specific intention of taking down the right-leaning outlet.
- “He plans to wreck Fox. No doubt about it,” a source told Axios.
Trump intends to have a subscription-based streaming platform, targeting Fox’s subscription-based “Fox Nation” service.
- This plan differs from earlier reports that Trump was considering reviving plans from 2016 to start his own cable network—an expensive proposition.
- ABC’s John Santucci reported the president’s advisers believed they could poach Fox News allies Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson for the new project.
The Trump campaign’s vast trove of email and cellphone contacts would provide an invaluable jumpstart in building a subscriber base.
The background: While Fox News was once viewed by Trump and the right as one of the few mainstream news outlets to push back against liberal media hegemony, in recent months tensions have brewed between the president and Fox News.
- Trump and his supporters have slammed the network for what they perceive as a failure to refute biased criticism against the president, particularly with regard to alleged widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.
- The president and his supporters were outraged after Fox News called Arizona for Joe Biden on election night well before most other networks.
- Trump supporters were similarly incensed when Fox News on Monday cut away from a press conference held by Kayleigh McEnany, during which the White House Press Secretary accused Democrats of welcoming “voter fraud” and “illegal voting.”
Behind the scenes, meanwhile, Fox News leadership has reportedly refused to cave to Trump’s attacks.
- But some of the network’s talent has continued to challenge mainstream narratives in defense of the president, a practice which has at times put them at odds with colleagues.
- Carlson on Monday night took an apparent swipe at Neil Cavuto, the host who cut away from the White House press secretary’s news conference, saying that in a democracy, “you can’t just cut away from coverage you don’t like.”