Fox News became popular as an alternative to the left wing message of CBS, NBC, MSNBC, ABC, NYT, LAT, etc. For that it is demonized by leftists with the epithet “Faux News”. Many conservatives criticize the networks coverage and on-air personalities however, and increasingly in recent years not the drift to the left.
Ahead of the last debate before the 2016 Iowa caucus, which was hosted by Fox, Donald Trump announced he would not attend because he was treated badly by Fox. Trump sparred with Megyn Kelly at an early debate (Aug. 6th) and made comments about her afterwards.
Before the 6th debate, he said:
“If I think I’m going to be treated unfairly, I’d do something else. But I don’t think she can treat me fairly, actually. I think she’s very biased.”
Fox accused Trump of “terrorism” against one of their employees (Kelly):
“…We’re not sure how Iowans are going to feel about him walking away from them at the last minute, but it should be clear to the American public by now that this is rooted in one thing – Megyn Kelly, whom he has viciously attacked since August and has now spent four days demanding be removed from the debate stage. Capitulating to politicians’ ultimatums about a debate moderator violates all journalistic standards, as do threats, including the one leveled by Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski toward Megyn Kelly.
In a call on Saturday with a FOX News executive, Lewandowski stated that Megyn had a ‘rough couple of days after that last debate’ and he ‘would hate to have her go through that again.’ Lewandowski was warned not to level any more threats, but he continued to do so. We can’t give in to terrorizations toward any of our employees.”
full (written) Fox News statement: “As many of our viewers know, FOX News is hosting a sanctioned debate in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday night, three days before the first votes of the 2016 election are cast in the Iowa Caucus. Donald Trump is refusing to debate seven of his fellow presidential candidates on stage that night, which is near unprecedented. We’re not sure how Iowans are going to feel about him walking away from them at the last minute, but it should be clear to the American public by now that this is rooted in one thing, Megyn Kelly, whom he has viciously attacked since August and has now spent four days demanding be removed from the debate stage.”
Later, From Fox:
The Republican presidential candidate already had said he probably would not be going, accusing Fox News of “playing games” with him. Trump has cited concerns with one of the debate moderators, Megyn Kelly – but apparently made his decision not to attend following press statements from Fox News.
One such statement had said, “We learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president. A nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plan to replace the Cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings.”
Here’s the full Trump statement, which is worth reading in its entirety:
(New York, NY) January 26th, 2016 – As someone who wrote one of the best-selling business books of all time, The Art of the Deal, who has built an incredible company, including some of the most valuable and iconic assets in the world, and as someone who has a personal net worth of many billions of dollars, Mr. Trump knows a bad deal when he sees one. FOX News is making tens of millions of dollars on debates, and setting ratings records (the highest in history), where as in previous years they were low-rated afterthoughts.
Unlike the very stupid, highly incompetent people running our country into the ground, Mr. Trump knows when to walk away. Roger Ailes and FOX News think they can toy with him, but Mr. Trump doesn’t play games. There have already been six debates, and according to all online debate polls including Drudge, Slate, Time Magazine, and many others, Mr. Trump has won all of them, in particular the last one. Whereas he has always been a job creator and not a debater, he nevertheless truly enjoys the debating process – and it has been very good for him, both in polls and popularity.
He will not be participating in the FOX News debate and will instead host an event in Iowa to raise money for the Veterans and Wounded Warriors, who have been treated so horribly by our all talk, no action politicians. Like running for office as an extremely successful person, this takes guts and it is the kind mentality our country needs in order to Make America Great Again.
“Roger Ailes had three brief conversations with Donald Trump today about possibly appearing at the debate – there were not multiple calls placed by Ailes to Trump.
In the course of those conversations, we acknowledged his concerns about a satirical observation we made in order to quell the attacks on Megyn Kelly, and prevent her from being smeared any further.
Furthermore, Trump offered to appear at the debate upon the condition that Fox News contribute $5 million to his charities. We explained that was not possible and we could not engage in a quid pro quo, nor could any money change hands for any reason.
Trump came in second in the Iowa Republican Caucus, with 24% to Ted Cruz’s 28%.
The feud between Fox News and candidates in political races are worth noting.