Don’t be worried about Fox News Channel if President Trump takes a header -- that is, via impeachment, pushed out of office by voters, or otherwise. Fox will probably be fine.
The question you need to ask is: What will FNC look like post-Trump, in terms of how its on-air anchors get along with each other? That’s the key to real discussion.
With regard to the recent explosive reveal about Trump asking for a “favor” of the Ukraine President in terms of finding dirt on his political opponent, Fox afternoon host Shepard Smith, who has been critical of many of Trump's actions and statements, interviewed former judge Andrew Napolitano.
Napolitano said Trump committed a “crime.”
That night, prime-time host Tucker Carlson interviewed former Trump lawyer Joe diGenova, who said Napolitano was a fool.
Thereafter, words were exchanged -- on air -- in their separate broadcasts. Smith called Carlson “repugnant.” This had the higher ups at Fox News demanding that Smith knock it off -- otherwise he’d be off the air, according to Vanity Fair. (We think this would also apply, if necessary, to Carlson.)
In response to the Vanity Fair story, a Fox News spokesperson told TV Watch that executives Suzanne Scott and Jay Wallace never spoke to Smith about Carlson, nor about taking Smith off the air.
Speculation then moves to what happens with Fox after Trump. Some believe Fox will just continue to sing the praises of all things Republican -- all to give hope to the faithful, who put Trump in office.
But perhaps Fox needs a different take. Let Fox's on-air talent have honest on-air battles -- complete with any salty language. This would amp up even more viewership for Fox -- perhaps putting it on a different level.
Other networks' on-air talent seem to get along -- a congenial feature of presenting the news these days. But at Fox, some of its daytime talent -- including Smith, Chris Wallace and others -- have been critical of Trump from time to time.
Does a TV news network need to speak with one voice for its on-air journalists/hosts? Would viewers be confused? Not necessarily. Unsettling to some, for sure.
What isn’t needed is what Vanity Fair reported from a media executive: “We need to represent our [emphasis added] viewers,” the source said.
Wrong answer. Don’t worry about your viewers. Just the truth.
This story has been updated to include a Fox News response to a Vanity Fair article.