Has Fox News changed? That is the question, though unfortunately, there’s no clear-cut answer. Nevertheless, on Monday FNC chief political anchor Bret Baier tried to provide one by arguing that, no, the 22-year-old network hasn’t changed and is the same now as it’s always been.
Source: Fox News
“Okay, well, Fox has not changed,” Baier said pithily Monday evening. ” We have a news side and an opinion side. Opinion folks express their opinions.”
He then addressed the president’s concerns about the network’s polling data, saying, “Our latest poll had the Democratic candidates head to head, several of them ahead of President Trump, and this poll tracks exactly what the RealClearPolitics average of polls — even a little the other way — and this poll matches what we are seeing out there.”
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, the president claimed that his “worst polls have always been from Fox.” Collated polling data maintained by RealClearPolitics suggests otherwise.
While Fox News’ recent head-to-head poll showed Trump losing to former Vice President Joe Biden by 12 points, polls by other groups showed him losing by as much to 15 to 19 points.
Favorability-wise, Fox’s most recent poll found Trump to have a 42 percent favorability rating. This is higher than both RCP’s 40.8 average and recent polls from NBC News, The Wall Street Journal and Harvis-Harris showing Trump with a significantly lower 39 percent rating:
The same trend has been seen among polls regarding Trump’s job approval:
Trump approval by poll:
Trump does have a problem with polls, but Fox isn’t the problem. https://t.co/Fbwff6BnD8
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) August 19, 2019
“Mr. President, we’ve invited you on ‘Special Report’ many times,” Baier continued Monday. “We’d love to have you back on. You’ve talked to George Stephanopoulos and Chuck Todd. Come on back. Me, Chris Wallace, the news side cover it fair, balanced, and unafraid.”
While the FNC anchor appears to be correct about the network’s polling — which, for the record, is conducted by third-party professional pollsters, not network officials — it’s unclear whether he’s equally correct about the network’s “journalists” being “fair and balanced.”
“Journalists” such as Chris Wallace and Shepard Smith have faced increasing backlash over the past year for their growing habit of injecting their opinions into their news “reporting.”
During a discussion late last year with Fox News chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge, for instance, Smith grew irate when Herridge tried to report on criticism of then-special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the since-debunked Russian collusion.
She simply tried to point out that critics were frustrated by Mueller’s treatment of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, given as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had done the same thing as him, but been let off scot-free.
Despite the relevance between the Clinton case and Flynn case, Smith was interested in hearing none of it: “Seriously!?” he cut in with indignation as Herridge was trying to speak.
“Yeah, that’s what [critics] point to,” she replied.
This only further inflamed the Fox host.
“Well, let them point. I mean Hillary Clinton, seriously?” Smith said.
“The point with …,” Herridge tried to interject, only to be cut off again.
“The point with that was that investigation is over, and we’re onto a new one,” Smith said.
Responding to Baier via Twitter, one Fox fan wrote that while she enjoys Baier’s reporting, she’s troubled by what’s been happening to the rest of the network.
“Bret, Fox is and has been changing,” she wrote. “Shep Smith and Wallace are not news shows anymore. I watch your show up to the point where you have the panel on. Shannon is also very good at not spinning the news. I miss Charles as he was excellent on the panel.”
Others have expressed a similar sentiment. Look:
Bret, Fox is and has been changing. Shep Smith and Wallace are not news shows anymore. I watch your show up to the point where you have the panel on. Shannon is also very good at not spinning the news. I miss Charles as he was excellent on the panel. https://t.co/uOqEtToq7L
— Dawn (@dawn_0108) August 20, 2019
Bret, I really like you and your show a lot. Not only just President Trump thinks Fox News has been changing…my husband and I have said that for awhile now!
And, it’s not changing in a good way.
— Jammy~Jeri ?? (@jeri55) August 19, 2019
Live you Bret, but Fox is moving left.
— Don Daughtry (@ddaughtry2) August 19, 2019
I have turned off Fox more so recently and I have had it on literally 24 hours a day previously for years. I have been appalled when hosts know a guest is lying and they don’t correct them. I still like your show though.
— Nancy Gardner (@NancyGa27343267) August 19, 2019
Bret, as a long time Fox viewer I can tell you that Fox has absolutely changed. FoxNews is now as much commentary as it is news. If you don’t see the change then I suggest you’re too close to the problem. Step away and watch Smith’s snarky commentary.
— Randy White (@rwphototoday) August 20, 2019
Yes, Fox HAS changed & it ain’t just POTUS who sees it. Turning into propaganda bullshit, especially on the wknds!
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