CNN's Dylan Byers outlined how Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's decision to boycott the Fox News sponsored GOP primary debate illustrates a “shift in the political-media landscape,” where “ultraconservatives” no longer “worship Fox News.”
Trump has been a regular fixture on Fox News since 2011, but has recently become embroiled in a feud with the network, that has culminated in his decision to boycott Fox's January 28 Republican presidential primary debate.
On January 28, CNN's Byers suggested that Trump's feud with the network illustrates a shift in Fox News' relationship with the Republican Party, noting that many conservative viewers don't believe that primetime hosts, including Bill O'Reilly and Megyn Kelly, are conservative enough. Byers wrote that this “rift” between the “ultraconservative” base and Fox News “has enabled Trump to wage war against the very network that has historically been one of the most influential players in the Republican primary contest” :
Trump's six-month war with host Megyn Kelly, which turned nuclear when he pledged to skip the Fox News debate that she is co-moderating on Thursday, has exposed a significant shift in the political-media landscape: The growing divide between ultraconservatives and Roger Ailes' Manhattan-based network.
Trump's attacks on the network -- like those he's made on Mexicans, Muslims, Sen. John McCain, and others -- are no random acts of emotion, conservative pundits and campaign strategists told CNN. Instead, they indicate calculated tactical moves designed to stoke support among a conservative base that no longer worships Fox News as it once did.
In 2016, that conservative base is coming to believe that Fox News is more in line with the increasingly despised Republican establishment than with the ultraconservatives who support insurgent candidates like Trump and Ted Cruz.
That rift has enabled Trump to wage war against the very network that has historically been one of the most influential players in the Republican primary contest.
For his part, Trump insists the reason he is boycotting the Fox News debate is Kelly and the last straw -- what he viewed as an insulting press release about him issued by the network.
“I don't like her. She doesn't treat me fairly. I'm not a big fan of hers at all,” Trump said earlier this week. The next day, he posted an Instagram video in which he declared: “Megyn Kelly's really biased against me. She knows that, I know that, everybody knows that.”
Fox issued a statement saying in part about Trump, “We can't give in to terrorizations of any of our employees.”