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Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz has accused former House Speaker Paul Ryan of orchestrating longtime former Fox Business Network host Lou Dobbs’ ouster from the Fox News family.
On the first episode of his brand new podcast, “Firebrand,” the Florida congressman on Thursday said that Fox News “isn’t what it used to be” and speculated that the reason why is because of Paul.
“I appreciate the platform Fox News gave me for years. It allowed me to get key information to the country. I have many friends still at Fox News, and I enjoy our discussions, whether they’re on-air or off-air,” he said.
“That said, Fox News isn’t what it used to be, and it probably has something to do with their corporate board member, Paul Ryan,” he added
Two years ago, Fox News’ parent company, Fox Corporation, recruited Ryan to serve on its board of directors. The move sparked massive outcry from conservatives, particularly in light of the network’s then-treatment of host Judge Jeanine Pirro and its then-hiring of a Democrat cheat.
‘Is this for real?’ Fierce reaction from Fox News fans when parent company adds Paul Ryan to its board https://t.co/T5FDIihdGq
— Nature Lover (@1coolchristian) March 20, 2019
“One of my favorite shows on the Fox platform was ‘Lou Dobbs Tonight.’ Sweet, sweet Lou, like America’s angry uncle, politically incorrect sometimes, red in the face and usually right about stuff,” Gaetz continued.
He then played a montage of Dobbs relentlessly bashing Ryan as a “RINO.”
“Now that Paul Ryan has concentrated power at Fox News, Lou Dobbs is no longer on air. He can’t guide the populist right away from the invade everywhere, invite everyone version of Republicanism that sells out to K Street and abandons Main Street,” the congressman then said.
Dobbs was ousted in February a day after the election systems company Smartmatic filed a pre-planned $2.7 billion lawsuit against Fox Corp. that named Dobbs as one of several hosts who’d allegedly “irreparably harmed” its reputation by accusing it of committing election fraud.
In a statement, a spokesperson claimed at the time that the discussions over ending the Fox Business Network host’s show had preceded the suit.
“As we said in October, Fox News Media regularly considers programming changes and plans have been in place to launch new formats as appropriate post-election, including on Fox Business. This is part of those planned changes. A new 5 p.m. program will be announced in the near future,” the spokesperson reportedly said.
Nobody really believed them then, and neither goes Gaetz.
“Paul Ryan never used his considerable power as speaker for Trump’s wall or other key immigration reforms, but he was able to use his power at Fox News to cancel the great Lou Dobbs,” he said, concluding the part of the podcast about Ryan.
Listen from the 19:26 mark below:
Dobbs went in especially hard on Ryan in the immediate aftermath of the 2020 presidential election for demanding that then-President Donald Trump abandon his legal challenges and concede defeat.
“I think maybe even more important is that these legal challenges to the outcome and the attacks on our voting system need to stop, in my opinion,” the former congressman said, as reported at the time by Politico.
“The outcome will not be changed, and it will only serve to undermine our faith in our system of government, our faith in democracy,” he added.
This infuriated Dobbs.
“Failed vice presidential candidate, former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan — RINO Paul Ryan — has chosen his moment to be back with his unsolicited analysis about this year’s presidential election,” he said on the evening of Nov. 24th, 2020.
After reading off the Ryan quote seen above, he said, “Are you kidding me? A grown man talking like he’s giving a sixth-grade civics address to the class.”
“By the way, that goes some part of the way to explaining why he threw away the midterm election in 2018 and eliminated the control of the Republican Party from the house,” he added.
This doesn’t constitute evidence that Ryan orchestrated Dobb’s ouster, but it does at least demonstrate one possible motive.
Another motive may have been the former Fox Business Network host’s loyalty to Trump, according to Newsmax host Rob Finnerty.
“To many, Dobbs was the face of Fox Business. The problem, well, Lou Dobbs is a Trump supporter. And oh, he’s even a friend of President Trump’s. But Fox has made several rash decisions lately,” he said in the days immediately after Dobb’s ouster, according to The Daily Beast.
He also repeated what Gaetz would go on to say months later about Fox News not being the same.
“If you haven’t already noticed, which I’m sure that many of you have, Fox News is just not the old Fox News that it once was,” he said.
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