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Ron DeSantis and Fox News, Old Friends, Hit Turbulence

Ron DeSantis and Fox News, Old Friends, Hit Turbulence


When the Fox News host Laura Ingraham urged Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida “to step apart and endorse Trump” on Tuesday night time, it was the newest signal of a pointy deterioration of relations between the Republican presidential hopeful and the community that made him a star.

Ms. Ingraham’s exhortation, within the wake of Mr. DeSantis’s second-place end within the Iowa caucuses, was met with mockery and derision by two of the governor’s most distinguished aides.

“Why would DeSantis take recommendation from the opposing marketing campaign?” Christina Pushaw, the marketing campaign’s speedy response director, wrote on X, to which Mr. DeSantis’s spokesman within the governor’s workplace, Jeremy Redfern, chimed in.

“The Fox News PAC,” he wrote.

It was the newest broadside from Mr. DeSantis’s internal circle in opposition to the cable community that till just lately had been among the loudest advocates of his candidacy.

But Mr. DeSantis lashed out final week, accusing Fox News of bias towards his rival, former President Donald J. Trump. Speaking to reporters in Iowa, Mr. DeSantis mentioned that conservative media shops, together with Fox, had acted as “a Praetorian Guard” for Mr. Trump. “They simply don’t maintain him accountable as a result of they’re anxious about shedding viewers,” Mr. DeSantis mentioned, “they usually don’t wish to have the scores go down.”

The governor’s marketing campaign manager denounced Fox as “full blown Trump TV, honesty thrown to the wind.” On caucus night time, Ms. Pushaw assailed Fox News for projecting a victory for Mr. Trump solely a half-hour after Iowans started to caucus. “Corporate media election interference,” she wrote on X.

Mr. DeSantis’s marketing campaign and Fox News declined to remark.

Despite the obvious ailing emotions towards Fox from a few of his aides, the candidate has continued to look on the community. On the day of his “Praetorian Guard” remarks, he appeared on Ms. Ingraham’s present. He later sat for interviews with “Fox News Sunday” and Monday’s version of “Fox & Friends.” He taped a casual interview on Wednesday with a Fox correspondent, Alexis McAdams, in New Hampshire, and he’s scheduled to look on Neil Cavuto’s program on Friday.

Still, the dynamic is a far cry from the times when Mr. DeSantis relied on admiring protection from the channel, tossing a softball in Florida with Brian Kilmeade and selling his memoir in prime-time with quite a few hosts, together with Ms. Ingraham. At the identical time, he shunned CNN and the most important broadcast networks.

On Thursday, as he fought to salvage his candidacy heading into the New Hampshire main, Mr. DeSantis overtly regretted that early media technique, saying he ought to have tried to engage with news outlets past Fox News.

“I ought to have simply been blanketing, I ought to have gone on all the company reveals, I ought to have gone on every thing,” he told the radio host Hugh Hewitt. “We had a possibility, I believe, to come back out of the gate and try this and attain a much wider folks.”

Mr. DeSantis had given the chilly shoulder to a lot of Florida’s native press on his option to changing into a preferred governor within the state. But political consultants had lengthy warned {that a} presidential race, notably in opposition to a rival as well-known as Mr. Trump, may require a wider aperture.

“The DeSantis marketing campaign needs to be studied by future presidential campaigns as a ‘how to not’ of press relations,” said Lis Smith, a Democratic strategist who oversaw Pete Buttigieg’s victory in Iowa 4 years in the past. “His needlessly antagonistic posture towards the press amplified his weaknesses as a candidate.”

“He was given no grace,” Ms. Smith added. “By the time he modified technique, it was too late.”

In planning his run, Mr. DeSantis might have additionally miscalculated the endurance of Mr. Trump with the Republican voters.

At the time, the governor was having fun with hours of Fox News protection, whereas Mr. Trump had been just about banished from the community, an absence that lasted from November 2022 to March 2023. A collection of felony indictments thrust Mr. Trump again into the headlines and helped revive in his recognition inside the Republican Party.

Mr. DeSantis was nonetheless featured on Fox News, together with a one-on-one debate with Gov. Gavin Newsom of California in November that drew a powerful 5.4 million viewers. But by the point the caucuses rolled round, Mr. Trump was once more a daily presence on the channel. When the community hosted Mr. DeSantis for a dwell town-hall-style occasion in Iowa final week, it aired at 6 p.m.

Mr. Trump’s city corridor, per situations stipulated by the Trump marketing campaign, obtained star billing at 9 p.m. in prime-time, reverse a CNN debate by which Mr. DeSantis was taking part.



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