Many conservatives felt that Fox’s recent turn against President Trump — and by extension, them — was a case of biting the hand that feeds them. Now the network is facing the consequences.
Former Fox News host Eric Bolling revealed that his old colleagues at the network aren’t taking the precipitous drop in ratings at the network very well, the Daily Wire reported. “I have friends still there that say they are very, very nervous about it, they’re sucking wind on it and they don’t know how to turn it around,” he said.
Bolling, currently the host of Sinclair Broadcasting’s “America This Week,” made the remarks at Turning Point USA’s annual Student Action Summit last weekend in West Palm Beach, Florida. He explained the decline of Fox’s ratings and the meteoric rise of networks like Newsmax and One America News Network.
The host said election night was the turning point when Fox called Arizona for President-elect Joe Biden “far before any other outlets” even as it was still a close race with President Donald Trump. “MAGA-world went ballistic, they said ‘I’m not watching Fox News,’ they switched over and they looked and they found Newsmax,” Bolling said.
He went on to say that since then, “Fox lost about 40% of their audience. 40%. That’s a big number.” The network has disputed those claims, pointing out that they still remain the highest rated cable news network despite some hosts losing ratings. It is notable that some of the heaviest hitters like Neil Cavuto, Bret Baier and Martha MacCullum have all lost 40% between Election Day and November 11, while other hosts like Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson still dropped nearly a third of their viewership.
Part of the exodus could be explained away with the usual post-election slump, but it doesn’t take away from the emergence of alternatives like OANN and Newsmax. Even the president caught on to the trend and encouraged others to follow suit.”.@FoxNews daytime is virtually unwatchable, especially during the weekends. Watch @OANN, @newsmax, or almost anything else. You won’t have to suffer through endless interviews with Democrats, and even worse!” Trump tweeted in November.
.@FoxNews daytime is virtually unwatchable, especially during the weekends. Watch @OANN, @newsmax, or almost anything else. You won’t have to suffer through endless interviews with Democrats, and even worse!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2020
The Washington Post said that Trump has been heavily promoting the networks for their coverage of possible voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election that other outlets dismiss as “conspiracy theories.” Still, it was the alternative networks’ willingness to give Trump a fair shake that has attracted him and his followers over to those outlets.
“The president recognizes that the vast majority of the media is not willing to give him a fair shake, so he’s constantly looking for outlets that are going to be open to hearing all sides,” Sean Spicer, former White House press secretary turned Newsmax host, told the Post. “Generally speaking, conservatives have grown tired of folks in the media telling them what to think over and over.”
Conservatives are incredibly loyal to the few media outlets that are fair to their candidates and viewpoints. Unfortunately, it seems networks like Fox News sometimes become infected with the same hubris that plagues the leftwing media, making them forget who they are and why they got to number one in the first place. With the sun beginning to set on cable television’s dynasty, the people at Fox have reason to be worried.