Trump vs. Fox News: ‘Mutually Beneficial Combat’

By Mark Joyella Comment

In the aftermath of last week’s Republican presidential debate, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump had few kind words to say about debate host Fox News–or co-moderator Megyn Kelly, who Trump accused of asking “inappropriate” questions.

On Tuesday, both Trump and Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes released statements saying they’d talked and were moving on, with Trump making appearances on Fox & Friends and Hannity.

Writing in The New York Times, Jonathan Mahler says “if this sounds like a war between Mr. Trump and Fox News, it is an unconventional one. It is not mutually assured destruction; it is mutually beneficial combat.”

But Mahler suggests, there’s a catch:

To demonstrate its seriousness about vetting the Republican candidates, the network has to subject Mr. Trump to rigorous questioning, as Ms. Kelly did Thursday night. At the same time, Fox cannot afford to alienate Mr. Trump — or, more important, the network’s core audience. Fox News viewers view the channel as an alternative to a media they see as leaning left. If the network pushes too hard against Mr. Trump, it risks being seen as part of the mainstream media, rather than the antidote to it.