President Donald Trump spent Sunday night criticizing the media. And that really wouldn’t be notable in itself except that he slammed an odd target: Fox News. The president let his anger at the conservative cable news channel be known by expressing it in an unhinged tweetstorm that targeted the weekend anchors. It seems his anger against Fox News had been building up and it burst open Sunday night, with the president warning that the network is “changing fast” and even claiming that Democrats are somehow responsible for its programming.
“Watching @FoxNews weekend anchors is worse than watching low ratings Fake News @CNN, or Lyin’ Brian Williams,” the president began. He then went into a tangent about “Lyin’ Brian Williams,” calling him a “dishonest journalist” and claiming he had been fired. (That isn’t entirely accurate since Williams is still working for MSNBC, but he was demoted from anchoring the NBC Nightly News.)
Trump went on to aim fire at “Comcast (NBC/MSNBC) Trump haters,” and claiming “NBC is also way down in the ratings.” But the commander in chief then proceeded to once again attack Fox News, suggesting something changed after the network “failed in getting the very BORING Dem debates.” Since then, Trump said, Fox News is “loading up with Democrats & even using Fake unsourced @nytimes as a ‘source’ of information.”
Trump ends his rant by warning that “@FoxNews is changing fast, but they forgot the people who got them there!”
What exactly triggered Trump to go on an anti–Fox News rant? It isn’t quite clear. Earlier in the day Fox News went live to a bar in Lyon, France, where patrons celebrating the U.S. women’s national team’s World Cup victory suddenly broke into a “Fuck Trump!” chant.
Whatever the cause, it did come on a day when Trump appeared to be particularly sensitive about media coverage and he also ranted against his usual foe the New York Times. In particular, Trump accused the Times, and other media outlets, of “writing phony and exaggerated accounts of the Border Detention Centers.”
The Times replied to Trump’s attack. “We are confident in the accuracy of our reporting on the U.S. Border Patrol’s detention centers,” the newspaper tweeted from its PR account.
Even though Trump’s criticizing Fox News may raise a few eyebrows, it wasn’t the first time he went after the traditionally friendly outlet. In March, Trump also slammed some of the network’s weekend anchors and wondered whether they had been “trained by CNN prior to their ratings collapse.” Last month, the president also criticized a poll published by the network that he didn’t like.