By CHARLOTTE MACKINNON
It is no secret that Donald Trump has been extremely vocal when it comes to his experiences with the news media during his campaign for office these past few months. He has notoriously bashed not only individual reporters, but entire news networks themselves, and much of this has been documented through his Twitter posts and live interviews. His controversial presence on social media and verbal attacks on individual journalists as well as entire news networks has become a defining factor of his campaign – let’s review.
One of the most substantial of these feuds occurred in early August, after Trump stepped out onto the Fox News debate stage and was questioned by reporter Megyn Kelly about his sexist remarks in the past. Trump responded the next day through a twitter tantrum attacking Kelly, as well as a few other Fox News personalities. He also addressed the debacle in an interview with CNN, saying, “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her … wherever.” Soon after the remark, he was disinvited to a Red State event by Erick Erickson, a Fox News contributor. It had appeared that Trump had started a war with one of the most influential networks, especially for Republicans.
Trump eventually mended his relationship with Fox News after clearing the air with Fox News CEO, Roger Ailes. But as of this past Wednesday, it appears that the “war” between Trump and Fox News is back on.
On Megyn Kelly’s Fox News talk show, conservative columnist Rich Lowry asserted that Carly Fiorina had castrated Trump during the CNN debate last week. Lowry referred to Trump’s private parts, saying that Fiorina had the “precision of a surgeon”.
Obviously, the statement created a lot of shock, prompting Trump to tweet that Lowry was “incompetent” and that “he should not be allowed on TV and the FCC should fine him.” The conflict continued to heat up, leading to Trump’s declaration via Twitter that he would be boycotting Fox News because the network has treated him “very unfairly”.
Fox News addressed Trump’s boycott in its statement about the cancellation of his scheduled appearance on “The O’Reilly Factor”, but declined to specify what had canceled the appearance. However, according to CNN, an unidentified Fox News spokesperson said about the issue: “When coverage doesn’t go his way, he engages in personal attacks on our anchors and hosts, which has grown stale and tiresome. He doesn’t seem to grasp that candidates telling journalists what to ask is not how the media works in this country.”
Now, we’re all waiting to see how long Trump’s latest war with the news media will last. A boycott with Fox News means that he will miss out on access to the millions of viewers who are tuning into the network each night for coverage of the 2016 race. And what will the repercussions be? As of Thursday afternoon, Trump is already down 8 points in the latest CNN/ORC national poll. Only time will show how his campaign will continue to be affected by the turmoil with Fox.
It’s important to pay close attention to Trump’s controversial relationship with the news media throughout his participation in the race. All of these feuds have been made extremely public, and the drama surrounding Trump’s campaign is going to play a crucial role in an election that we will all be impacted by. If there’s anything we need to be keeping up with, it’s the news coverage of the 2016 race – and as we watch these disputes unfold, we will be able to observe, firsthand, the role that the news media play in politics and the impact that it can have.