According to Vanity Fair, Fox journalists, who dislike being marked as an “arm of the Trump White House” are now lobbying Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and president Jay Wallace to curb the pro-Trump enthusiasm of Fox & Friends Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, and Jeanine Pirro.
“Reporters are telling management that we're being defined by the worst people on our air,” one senior Fox staffer complained.
Hannity, Dobbs, and Pirro respond that they reflect the views of the audience and are also responsible for most of the advertising revenue. Although it is true that the prime-time show generates most of the ad revenues, advertisers have been increasingly fleeing in the face of the controversial pro-Trump content.
“Executives are very worried Fox & Friends will be next. If advertisers start bailing on them, they're screwed,” an insider said.
Fox Group CEO Lachlan Murdoch can’t ask the hosts to moderate their views for fear of antagonizing Trump, which has already happened when Fox suspended Jeanine Pirro in March after she made offensive comments about Representative Ilhan Omar.
In response, Trump tweeted: “Were @FoxNews weekend anchors, @ArthelNeville and @LelandVittert, trained by CNN prior to their ratings collapse? In any event, that's where they should be working, along with their lowest rated anchor, Shepard Smith!”
Trump then called Richard Murdoch to complain about Pirro’s suspension, which was thereafter quickly lifted. “Trump called Rupert, and Rupert put pressure on the executives,” a source said.
Lachlan also risks angering Sean Hannity if he intervenes in Fox’s content. Hannity is reportedly still angry that the Murdochs fired Fox News CEO Roger Ailes and co-president Bill Shine. Apparently, Hannity thinks the Murdochs are out to get Trump.
“Hannity told Trump last year that the Murdochs hate Trump, and Hannity is the only one holding Fox together,” a source said.
Hannity has said he intends to leave Fox when his contract expires in 2021 because he “doesn’t feel supported.”
Lachlan, who is a libertarian conservative, is likely to shy away from Fox’s close relationship to Trump.
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