Donald Trump has declared yet another war on Fox News–but it may help him in the long run.
On Wednesday, Trump tweeted: “@FoxNews has been treating me very unfairly & I have therefore decided that I won’t be doing any more Fox shows for the foreseeable future.”
The unfair treatment Trump received was apparently a last minute cancellation by Fox on Bill O’Reilly’s “The O’Reilly Factor.”
While there’s no word on how long “the foreseeable future” actually is–when he was angry with Fox in August, he lasted less than a week–it could be a genius move on Trump’s part to stand tough against Fox News.
Donald Trump’s supporters tend to come across the political spectrum (at least, within the Republican Party.) He’s attracted moderate Jeb Bush fans, conservative Ted Cruz fans, libertarian Rand Paul fans, and everything else under the sun.
He’s doing so not because he’s prescribing a radical new policy agenda–but because he’s willing to take on the entrenched establishment. That includes both political parties–but that also includes the media.
For the past few weeks, Trump has, in some ways, run out of new people to attack. And when Trump isn’t on the attack, he’s under attack–as evidenced by his dressing down by Carly Fiorina at last week’s Republican debate.
To stay on the attack, Trump needs another high-profile villain to push around, in order to re-energize his support. And Fox News completely fits the bill.
Even though Fox News is a trusted name for conservatives, the fact is that they’ve been the top-ranked news source for years. Conservative politicians have, largely, been expected to pander to Fox News–not grassroots conservatives.
But because Trump has his own media orbit–he attracts tremendous media attention whether or not he kisses up to Fox News–the fact is, he can do whatever he wants. Fox needs him–and his supporters–a lot more than Trump needs Fox.
For now, Trump is taking another scalp in his war on the establishment–and that’s only going to continue to galvanize his base.
Unfortunately for Fox News, his base is their core viewership–and it’s more likely that they’ll go with Trump, rather than stick around with Fox.