President Donald Trump has never been shy about taking on the major networks over news that reflects badly on his administration, but his targets are usually on the left end of the political spectrum.
That generally means “fake news” outfits CNN and MSNBC.
On Thursday, however, Trump came out swinging against the cable news network that gives him more favorable coverage than the rest — by far.
After Fox News published the results of a poll on Wednesday that showed support for Trump’s impeachment growing, the president didn’t take long to lash out.
Using his favorite medium for public communications, Trump attacked Fox and some of its better-known personalities on Twitter.
“From the day I announced I was running for President, I have NEVER had a good @FoxNews Poll,” Trump wrote. “Whoever their Pollster is, they suck. But @FoxNews is also much different than it used to be in the good old days.”
He then called out Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano and news anchor Shepard Smith for special criticism.
“@FoxNews doesn’t deliver for US anymore,” Trump wrote. “It is so different than it used to be.”
…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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 10, 2019
According to The Hill, Fox News declined to comment on Trump’s posts.
The Western Journal reached out to Fox for comment Thursday but has not yet received a response. We will update this article if and when we do.
Now, there’s no denying the Fox News poll was bad news for Trump. And for a president who’s routinely — and unfairly — attacked by more-biased outlets, a headline like the one Fox carried had to sting:
“Fox News Poll: Record support for Trump impeachment”
But the numbers are the numbers, and the Fox report was pretty straightforward:
“A new high of 51 percent wants Trump impeached and removed from office, another 4 percent want him impeached but not removed, and 40 percent oppose impeachment altogether. In July, 42 percent favored impeachment and removal, while 5 percent said impeach but don’t remove him, and 45 percent opposed impeachment.”
The poll’s results note that it was conducted by a “bipartisan” team made up of Democratic-leaning Beacon Research and Republican-leaning Shaw & Co. Research. It was based on contacts with 1,003 registered voters.
The results break down respondents by different demographics – race, education, gender and so forth – but don’t include one crucial question: Where they get their information about the world.
It’s a pretty good bet that those 51 percent of respondents who are in favor of Trump’s impeachment – assuming that number is correct — are learning what they know about the White House from the incredibly biased, negative treatment it’s received for the past three years from the mainstream media. (Ask CNN viewers or New York Times readers, for instance, and it would be more like 99 percent.)
And even at that, only 21 percent of those polled approve of the job Congress is doing. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has an approval rating of 48 percent unfavorable to 42 percent favorable (the fact that even 42 percent view the California Democrat favorably is a dead giveaway that they’re not watching “Tucker Carlson Tonight”).
In other words, Trump has every right in the world to sound off about Fox and personalities like Smith or Napolitano, but bashing the network is off base.
The president has been through these skirmishes with Fox before over a news report he doesn’t like, and he no doubt will again.
But if it weren’t for Fox, and conservative news outlets on the internet, that 51 percent number Trump is complaining about would probably be a lot higher.
CORRECTION: Oct. 10, 2019. This post originally stated the number of poll respondents incorrectly.