When former President Donald J. Trump addressed a friendly crowd Tuesday during his first visit to Washington since leaving office, he was widely covered by a range of media, both mainstream and those who are more sympathetic to him.
There was one notable outlier: Fox News.
The network, which helped make Mr. Trump a force on the American right, devoted little airtime to his speech. He hasn’t broadcast his remarks live – and hasn’t for most of his rallies over the past year.
But it was uploaded alongside a competing speech that former Vice President Mike Pence gave the same day, at a hotel less than a mile away. For about 17 minutes on Tuesday afternoon, Fox viewers heard Mr. Pence uninterrupted.
The snub reflected a trend in the way Fox news programming has treated the former president lately: skeptically and sometimes harshly, even as the network’s highly regarded and influential prime-time hosts, like Sean Hannity, continue to defend him and deviate from the recent revelations of the January 6 hearings.
Fox sent a reporter to cover Mr. Trump on Tuesday and included excerpts from his speech in its coverage throughout the day. But the network’s practice since Mr. Trump left office has been to largely ignore his frequent political rallies, leaving them to smaller, more dedicated outlets like Newsmax and One America News, which air them in directly and often in their entirety.
On Friday, for example, when Mr. Trump was addressing a crowd of supporters in Arizona ahead of the state’s Aug. 2 primary election, Fox News stuck to its usual programming schedule, with a twist. Laura Ingraham’s 10 p.m. program featured her interview with Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, who is widely believed to be considering a campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
On Monday, “Fox & Friends,” which has helped defend Mr. Trump through four years of controversy and chaos, pointed to Mr. DeSantis’ poll numbers rising in hypothetical matchups of potential Republican candidates in 2024.
Mr. Trump was not happy. On his social media network, Truth Social, he criticized “Fox & Friends” for going “to the dark side”. He added: “@foxandfriends really botched my poll numbers, no doubt on purpose. This show was terrible.