Trump supporters are seeking alternatives to Fox News after President Donald Trump criticized the network that, like mainstream media networks, called the presidential race for Joe Biden.
Newsmax and One America News — which falsely claim Trump won the 2020 election — are two of the biggest beneficiaries of Trump and his supporters’ ire. The channels’ ratings have surged in recent days.
Although Biden won the election — a fact Trump acknowledged Sunday — Greg Kelly, the highest-rated host on Newsmax, claims that Trump will prevail and that he will be president for another four years. The network has gone from about 100,000 viewers a day on a good day to about one million viewers per night for Kelly’s show.
“Fox has never seen competition like this,” CNN’s chief media correspondent Brian Stelter said on “Reliable Sources” Sunday. “There is demand for a fictional universe…. Reliable news sources are mostly moving on to cover President-elect Biden. There is an entire constellation of websites and talk shows that are in denial just like Trump.”
Helping boost the Fox News rivals’ ratings, Trump is telling his Twitter followers to try Newsmax and One America News. In a Sunday tweet, Trump criticized Fox and said, “Try @OANN & @newsmax, among others!”
However, this weekend, Trump continued to promote Fox News and the hosts he admires, including Jesse Watters, Jeanine Ferris Pirro and Sean Hannity, all of whom have sown doubt about the election results. He also tweeted that people should watch his lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s Fox appearances.
TV anchors are getting pressured by viewers in ways that never happened in the 80s or 90s, Julie Roginsky, former Fox News contributor and Democratic strategist, noted on “Reliable Sources.”
“That has a tremendous influence on the information that you receive,” she said.
Fox has dominated right-wing TV for more than a decade, but the network’s monopoly control is starting to break apart. Right-wing media viewers began expressing their frustration with Fox after the network called Arizona for Biden early on in the election.
“Donald Trump has actually become more important to these people than what they’re watching on TV,” Roginsky said. “It is a drug,” she said. “They’re literally giving a drug to their viewers.”
Right-wing media viewers are searching for people to tell them what they want to hear, said former ABC News White House correspondent Sam Donaldson.
“It doesn’t have to be a Hannity,” he said. “Someone will supply them with a false narrative that does not exist.”