content-header__row content-header__hed” data-testid=”ContentHeaderHed”>Some Fox Hosts Are Still Holding Out for a Trump WinWhile the rest of the world moves on and other right-wing networks gain traction by parroting the president’s election-theft lies, Fox is split, with some anchors telling Trump to give it up, and others calling for drastic action.
December 1, 2020
Former New York City Mayor and attorney to President Donald Trump Rudy Giuliani with Anchor Maria Bartiromo as he visits "Mornings With Maria" on Fox Business Network on September 23, 2019.By Roy Rochlin/Getty Images.
Supporters of Donald Trump have spent much of the last four years riding the Fox News high, living in an upside-down reality courtesy of the network’s daily lies. Between Sean Hannity, Maria Bartiromo, Laura Ingraham, Lou Dobbs, and others, dedicated Fox viewers could have easily spent the entire Trump era without ever stepping foot on solid ground. But with Trump’s departure set to occur in just a few weeks, some at the network are attempting to wean their audience through segments explaining that the president did, in fact, lose to Joe Biden in a fair election. However, those moments of forced reality—such as news anchor Eric Shawn debunking the president’s election fraud claims in a weekend segment—are the exception, not the rule. (They’re enough to earn Fox public lashings from the president, who tweeted on Saturday that “Fox News daytime is virtually unwatchable, especially during the weekends.”) As outlets such as Newsmax and OANN gain traction by regurgitating the election-fraud line, some corners of the network remain a safe space for viewers who still believe the president is the victim.
“This president has to take, I believe, drastic action, dramatic action to make certain that the integrity of this election is understood, or lack of it, the crimes that have been committed against him and the American people,” seethed Lou Dobbs during his Monday night show. The Fox Business host posed an ultimatum to the Justice Department and the FBI, saying that if “they cannot do it, then we have to find other resources within the federal government. We’ve got to rise above this because the nation itself—this is an assault on the core of a democracy, any democracy. Our ability to cast a secret ballot.” Dobbs made the comments while hosting attorney Sidney Powell, even after her case against Biden was criticized by fellow Fox host Tucker Carlson. (Carlson’s on-air scrutiny makes him the second-most-noteworthy Trumpworld entity to publicly discredit Powell, as Team Trump itself disavowed her work before Thanksgiving.)
On the same day as the Dobbs hit, Hannity hosted Powell for a guest appearance, in which he sided with her as she rattled off a baseless explainer on the so-called secret algorithm Democrats used to gain an election advantage, adding that whistleblowers who wish to expose this vast left-wing conspiracy have had their “lives…threatened,” and that one “witness” was “beaten up and is in the hospital.”
The Fox News lineup has a high success rate when it comes to lobbying Trump to use his presidential powers to pardon war criminals of their choosing. But this week, Hannity played the get-out-of-jail-free collaboration in a wholly new way. “The president out the door needs to pardon his whole family and himself, because they want this witch hunt to go on in perpetuity,” he said on his Monday radio program. “He should be able to pardon anybody that he wants to.”
On Sunday, during the outgoing president’s first TV interview since his loss, he spoke with Fox’s Bartiromo and spent the majority of the hour in denial about losing the election, continuing to lay out crackpot plans for how he can still win, and confirming that nothing is “going to change my mind” when it comes to viewing the Biden administration as legitimate. “In other words, my mind will not change in six months. There was tremendous cheating here,” he said. Bartiromo was on board, at one point asking Trump to “please go through the facts” and nodding along through a stream of lies, occasionally interjecting to say “yes” and “right.” The onetime CNBC anchor even empathized with her guest’s outrage, saying, “This is disgusting and we cannot allow America’s election to be corrupted.” The president, who noted that he will “use 125% of my energy” to prove the vote was rigged, even as the coronavirus pandemic continues its record killing spree, concluded the interview by saying that Biden won via “total fraud. And how the FBI, and Department of Justice—I don’t know, maybe they’re involved—but how people are allowed to get away with this is stuff is unbelievable.”
The following day, Bartiromo appeared on one of Fox’s news programs to give more airtime to the conspiracy theories Trump had aggressively pushed exclusively on her show, while the anchor on-air with her, Trace Gallagher, called the president’s ramblings “fascinating" but did nothing to question their validity.
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