While the Fox News Channel has been a staunch supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump since he announced he was running for the position in 2015, it seems even their viewers may have gotten tired of the continuous rallies the president is involved in all the time.
According to CNN, the president’s favored network has now decided to stop airing full Trump rallies, fearing that the repetition of the pep-rally style gathering employed by the commander-in-chief will lead to a plummet in ratings. In the past week, with three rallies by the president, Fox News has aired only snippets of the events, rather than full, uninterrupted coverage as viewers may be used to.
The president seems to have amped up his efforts at rallies recently, with the midterms looming next month. But key networks are no longer providing him the coverage he always brags about. Per Politico, even C-SPAN cut away from his rallies in order to air their regular news, and Fox News stayed focused on Hurricane Michael battering the coast of Florida while Trump riled up a crowd in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Instead, they offered their viewers an opportunity to lives stream the event online, but declined to air it on television.
Fox News pulls back from covering the entirety of President Trump's campaign rallies. https://t.co/uWZXKDMK77
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 12, 2018
As a result, some in the White House are concerned that the president isn’t getting enough airtime during a crucial time right before the elections. One senior official has stated the office of the president will be “looking into it,” warning that White House communications director Bill Shine, a former Fox News executive, would likely be in touch with the network about it.
Candidates who Trump is talking up at these rallies are also highly concerned about the sudden lack of coverage they are getting.
“It exposes us to a national audience that we normally don’t get to,” a Senate Republican campaign staffer said of the coverage of Trump rallies. “We tend to see lots of new sign-ups and small-dollar donations. There’s obviously folks streaming [rallies] online, but being able to be onstage with the president in front of a prime-time audience is huge for a campaign trying to reach conservatives across the country who will open up their wallets.”
— CNN (@CNN) October 11, 2018
The rapid decrease in coverage is being described as a “huge loss on the state and local level for Republicans because they’re certainly not going to get any of that on other cable networks” by a source close to him, adding, “If they stop taking them completely, that might create a problem. Trump is a massive consumer of the media, so he may be disappointed.”
But as Trump’s presidency has continued, Fox News has found that airing his full rallies has started earning them lower and lower ratings, even dipping below that of their regular programming. The network is no longer sure of Trump’s ability to beat the likes of Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, or Laura Ingraham, all of whom have higher viewership than a full Trump rally.