Donald Trump’s path to the 2024 GOP presidential nomination took an unexpected turn.
It involved the behind-the-scenes deliberations at Fox News Channel.
Fox News made this huge 2024 decision that Donald Trump never saw coming.
Rupert Murdoch jumped off the Trump train after the midterm elections.
The Fox News founder blamed the GOP’s lackluster performance on Trump’s choice of candidates and informed Trump that Fox News would not support his re-election campaign.
Trump seethed at what he saw as Fox News slanting its coverage to try and boost DeSantis.
The 45th president blasted Fox News for airing DeSantis’s campaign event in Michigan uninterrupted while refusing to provide coverage for Trump’s speech in Michigan.
But events proved Fox News holds a diminished place in the modern conservative movement.
Fox News lost 30 percent of its primetime audience following Murdoch’s disastrous decision to fire Tucker Carlson.
Viewers thought Fox News firing Tucker Carlson was part of Murdoch’s plan to pivot to the middle following a defamation lawsuit so the network lost much of its ability to sway voters towards Murdoch’s chosen candidate.
Once Democrat prosecutors began indicting Trump, Republicans saw Joe Biden weaponizing the justice system to wage lawfare against Trump in response to polls showing Biden may not defeat Trump at the ballot box.
DeSantis’s poll numbers sagged as Trump’s rose.
And Rupert Murdoch as well as his son Lachlan – who now runs Fox News – grew disenchanted.
A source at Fox News told Rolling Stone the Murdochs doubted DeSantis could defeat Trump and the first family of Fox News “are transactional and can smell a loser a mile away.”
“And DeSantis is underperforming. Anybody can see that … [and the Murdochs], they’re seeing it, too,” the source added.
Murdoch is also reportedly pining for Virginia Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin to serve as the establishment’s white knight as a late entry in the GOP field.
“The media mogul likes to watch political races play out, even live-tweeting reactions to one of the Republican presidential debates during the 2016 election. Mr. Murdoch has privately told people that he would still like to see Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia enter the race, according to a person with knowledge of the remarks. And he has made clear in private discussions over the last two years that he thinks Mr. Trump, despite his popularity with Fox News viewers, is unhealthy for the Republican Party,” The New York Times exclusively reported.
Murdoch’s personal feelings about DeSantis falling flat are reflected in the coverage DeSantis now receives on Fox News.
Instead of glowing profiles and softball questions about how great he is, DeSantis now faces a grilling from hosts wondering why his campaign fell flat.
“What’s going on with your campaign?” Maria Bartiromo asked DeSantis. “There was a lot of optimism about you running for president earlier in the year. … What happened?!”
“I have to ask you, governor, this: Why do you think, despite those successes, so far, it hasn’t been reflected in your polling for your 2024 run for president of the United States?” host Will Cain demanded DeSantis answer.
The more the establishment struggles to unite behind one alternative, the better it is for Trump as the durability of Trump’s base continues to prove far stronger than GOP elites could have predicted.
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