Also noteworthy at CPAC, Steve Bannon started his speech by ripping into Fox News for calling Arizona for Biden on Election Night. It went downhill from there. A bit later, Bannon said: "Murdoch, you've deemed Trump's not going to be president. But we deem that you're not going to have a network, because we're going to fight you every step of the way." Maybe Murdoch started quaking in his boots when he heard that the mighty Steve Bannon was after him. But maybe not.
Murdoch and Fox News seem to have had it with Trump (and certainly with Bannon). While Murdoch hasn't officially endorsed Ron DeSantis (and probably never will, explicitly), he seems very likely to hop on the DeSantis bandwagon as soon as it gets up some steam. This is going to cause Trump a huge headache. After all, the fawning and attention that Fox gave him in 2016 was enormously valuable to his campaign. If that goes to a challenger, it will be impossible to replace. Like it or not, in the right-o-sphere, Fox is the 800-pound gorilla.
If Tucker Carlson and the other hosts start praising DeSantis every day—and dumping on Trump at the same time—that is bound to anger Trump beyond belief, but there is not a lot he can do about it. NewsMax and OANN might be friendlier to him, but they are far smaller than Fox. Trump sees what is coming down the road and is already attacking Fox. He recently posted this to his boutique social media site: "Too many incompetent RINOS at FoxNews!" He also called Fox executives "a group of MAGA Hating Globalist RINOS."
It's still early and Fox might not go all in for DeSantis, especially if it looks like Trump might get the nomination and have a chance to win the general election. Murdoch knows that Trump is exceedingly vindictive and if he becomes president, would do everything he and Stephen Miller can think of to punish Fox. On the one hand, this could scare the Foxers. On the other hand, it could motivate them to do everything possible to make sure Trump is not the next president. In any event, having Fox working against Trump, either mildly or aggressively, will certainly impact the primaries in a big way. (V)