Fox News Hosts Splinter as Chaotic Pennsylvania Primaries Heat Up

“When an Inquirer reporter showed up at a campaign event in Lancaster County last month, two security guards asked him to leave,” the Inquirer reporters Juliana Feliciano Reyes and Andrew Seidman wrote in an article on May 4. “A printout of his photograph and those of other journalists were visible at the check-in desk. ”

Fox opinion hosts enjoy a high degree of autonomy, leading at times to a blurring of journalistic and campaign roles that would be anathema at many other outfits – including the network’s archrival, CNN, which fired Chris Cuomo last year as the scope of his entanglement with his brother, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, became clear.

Tucker Carlson of Fox News helped slingshot JD Vance into the GOP nomination for a Senate seat in Ohio, for instance, helping him gain a following and honing his pitch to voters – and, perhaps most important, to Trump. According to a New York Times analysis of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” transcripts, Vance has appeared as Carlson’s guest on the program nine times so far this year. He appeared 13 times in 2021, five times in 2020 and six times in 2019.

For his part, Hannity has appeared at Trump rallies and even offered his private advice to Trump while he was in office, according to a trove of text messages published by CNN. Oz appeared on Hannity’s prime-time Fox show 20 times in 2021 and 2022, according to Media Matters.

In that sense, Hannity’s crossover into a campaign role is hardly a new phenomenon in the extended Trump universe, though rarely have the porous borders between the conservative entertainment wing and the official Republican Party collapsed in such a compressed time frame.

But that broader pro-Trump media world now extends well beyond Fox, and the network is losing its monopoly on the Republican base, as the party panic over Barnette’s ascent dramatically shows.

By lunchtime on Friday, Fredericks was hosting Trump himself for a radio interview, in which the former president reiterated his skepticism of Barnette and plugged his choice, Oz.

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