Fox News Shifts to DeSantis, Considers Firing Hosts Who Defended Trump’s Election Fraud Claims

As the network faces a defamation lawsuit over its 2020 election coverage, it’s protecting its image while teeing up its 2024 positioning.

Background: Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit against Fox News for its coverage of the issues surrounding the 2020 election. Dominion and Fox are now addressing the case in court. Rupert Murdoch, Fox’s owner, has stated that he agrees with the accusations that the news network aired false information regarding Donald Trump’s loss.

What will Murdoch do about the situation? Murdoch said that there are Fox News employees who “should be reprimanded” or “maybe got rid of.” Those employees likely include resident Fox hosts Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro, who reported on election integrity concerns in the aftermath of the election. Other hosts, like Tucker Carlson, expressed concerns about leaning into the election theories amid the uncertainty.

Fox’s positioning: Emails following the Capitol riot show that Murdoch wanted Fox to pivot its stance on the election, saying “We want to make Trump a non person.” Murdoch has since made it clear that Fox will not support Trump again. While his recent statements may be damage control, he is likely also trying to shift the network away from Trump and in support of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to run for the GOP presidential nomination. Denouncing 2020 election coverage and firing the most ardent Trump-aligned hosts could ease that transition.

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