“They suck,” President Trump tweeted Thursday in response to a Fox News poll that found 51 percent of voters backing his impeachment and removal from office. The low-energy insult was directed at Fox News’ pollster, but there’s little doubt that Trump thinks the network sucks too. In several tweets Thursday, he lashed out at the network for not properly praising him and gave a shout-out to One American News, the obsequious right-wing propaganda network that’s been trying to win Trump’s affection for years.
“From the day I announced I was running for President, I have NEVER had a good @FoxNews Poll,” Trump tweeted. “Whoever their Pollster is, they suck. But @FoxNews is also much different than it used to be in the good old days. With people like Andrew Napolitano, who wanted to be a Supreme Court Justice & I turned him down (he’s been terrible ever since), Shep Smith, @donnabrazile (who gave Crooked Hillary the debate questions & got fired from @CNN), & others, @FoxNews doesn’t deliver for US anymore. It is so different than it used to be. Oh well, I’m President!”
Trump’s anger at Fox News is nothing new. He whined about the network earlier this year for giving Democrats air time and he throws a tantrum anytime it veers away from White House–approved messaging. In those moments, he tries to put the network in its place. “Fox isn’t working for us anymore!” he tweeted in August. Like his message today, Trump is reminding Fox News that, in his eyes, it exists to serve him.
Many of the people on the network see it the same way. The popular opinion hosts who fill up its nighttime block — Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and Laura Ingraham — are among the most reliable pro-Trump figures in media. They also regularly bring on guests such as Rudy Giuliani and Joe diGenova to lick Trump’s boots. Trump’s problem is that not everyone talks like they do. And as the Washington Post reported this week, that’s causing some problems internally, too. The high stakes of the impeachment inquiry has anyone who fails to see Trump as a king labeled a traitor.
As much as Trump grumbles though, he’s hardly ready to move on from Fox News. His enduring love affair was made clear Thursday morning by Matthew Gertz, Media Matters’ indefatigable chronicler of Trump’s Fox News obsession. In a long thread, Gertz noted each time Trump has tweeted about the network in the last week. At last count, Gertz had logged 81 tweets.
There was one relevant tweet that didn’t make Gertz’s list though. Trump sent at 9:34 a.m. on Thursday:
“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.”
For months, Trump has flirted with One America News, a down-market Fox that’s unfailing pro-Trump, in an attempt to make Fox News jealous. But his obsession with his favorite network continues.