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NEW YORK (AP) — At this moment in the 2024 election cycle, complaining about Fox News — even if for different reasons — may be what unites Donald Trump, Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis the most.
At conservative America’s favorite news source, the Republican nomination process is essentially over and has been for awhile, leaving DeSantis and Haley annoyed at perceived favoritism to Trump. Hardly grateful, the former president regularly tears into Fox for what he sees as disloyalty, even ripping his former White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, now a Fox contributor.
The discontent illustrates the ongoing importance of Fox News as an agenda-setter that frequently drives, and not simply reflects, Republican politics. No one can get to the top of the GOP’s hill without it.
It’s also a testament to Fox’s power and influence, said Brian Stelter, media critic and author of two books about Fox News.
In a “Fox & Friends” appearance, Haley suggested her questioners seemed eager to “coronate” Trump. Shortly before DeSantis ended his own campaign, he said that conservative media outlets like Fox are afraid to challenge the ex-president for fear of losing their audience.
The past few months were a hard fall for DeSantis, once the beneficiary of so much attention that the Florida governor signed bills for the network’s cameras. He’s made 47 appearances on Fox since last September. Haley had 45 appearances in that time, and Trump six.
“I think they were ready to move on from Trump, but the base