Fox News hasn’t had presidential candidate Donald Trump on its network in months — and certainly not since he announced his bid for the Republican nomination — the result of a ‘soft ban’ that has been in place ever since. his last appearance in September, according to a report on Thursday.
There was a time when Trump was a regular on cable’s top-rated network, but now he’s running into a ‘brick wall’ with Fox, according to a Traffic lights. Fox did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday evening.
Meanwhile, his main (as yet unofficial) rival, Florida Governor Ron Desantis, was a regular on Fox. Others, like Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy, made Republican presidential candidates a near-daily fixture on Fox, Semafor reported, citing Media Matters’ internal database.
“Everyone knows there’s this ‘soft ban’ or ‘silent ban,'” said a source, described as “close to Trump”, who spoke with Semafor behind the scenes. “It’s certainly – whatever you want to say, silent ban, soft ban, whatever – indicative of how the Murdochs feel about Trump at this particular moment.”
It may or may not have something to do with the lawsuit Fox is currently pursuing against Dominion Voting Systems, which is suing the network for $1.6 billion in what legal experts consider a strong defamation case. Dominion accused Fox of falsely spreading lies about the 2020 election on the air – even though he knew the allegations were unfounded.
Trump’s last appearance on Fox News was in September, during a conversation about the Mar a Lago raid. It was during this interview that he told Sean Hannity that a president could declassify a document by “thinking about it.”
Semafor quoted a “Trump official” as saying he would push to appear on the network as the presidential primary season begins to heat up in the coming months. Another source told the website that the “soft ban” has been an “open secret” on the network for some time.
“The understanding is that they are [Fox] to not have Trump for an interview, because the Murdochs have made it clear that they want to leave Trump…Fox shows it by not having him,” a Republican source told Semafor.