Hostilities between Fox News and GOP presidential contender Donald Trump, which heated up when Trump expressed displeasure with the handling of the recent debate by the Fox News hosts — especially Megyn Kelly — may be working to the benefit of both Trump and Fox News.
In an analysis piece in The New York Times, Jonathan Mahler writes: “Mr. Trump has single-handedly beaten back the August news doldrums, and no one is benefiting more from his unhinged outbursts and behavior than Fox News. The network’s telecast of the Republican debate, with Mr. Trump occupying center stage, was the highest-rated presidential primary debate ever. On Tuesday morning, Mr. Trump phoned in to ‘Fox and Friends,’ and on Tuesday night, he sat for a one-on-one interview with Sean Hannity.”
Trump, meanwhile, continues to see his presidential campaign surge in popularity. “Mr. Trump has become a runaway train that no one can stop — or stop watching,” Mahler writes. “’The Apprentice’ might be over, but ‘Trump the Campaign’ is a 24-hour reality show that even the most sober-minded media outlets ignore at their own risk.”
The war between Trump and FNC, Mahler notes, “is an unconventional one. It is not mutually assured destruction; it is mutually beneficial combat.”
But Mahler also warns: “Fox cannot afford to alienate Mr. Trump — or, more important, the network’s core audience. Fox News viewers view the channel as an alternative to a media they see as leaning left. If the network pushes too hard against Mr. Trump, it risks being seen as part of the mainstream media, rather than the antidote to it.”
We encourage you to click on the link near the top of this story to read Mahler’s full analysis.