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President Donald Trump’s loyal supporters are calling on fellow conservatives to abandon Fox News, after the network hired former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile to be a contributor.
Brazile’s appointment was announced via a press release issued on Monday and throughout the week there’s been backlash on Twitter and Reddit.
This follows outrage after the network pulled Judge Jeanine Pirro’s show over her comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).
Now, conservatives, see Brazile is a step too far. And it’s not just because she’s more than just another liberal talking head.
On Twitter, for instance, a large part of the backlash focused on Brazile’s previous dismissal from CNN. In December 2016 it was revealed that, as a CNN contributor, she had leaked information to then-Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton about the kind of questions she was set to face in the televised debate.
And anyone who helps Hillary is verboten in Trump-land.
Fox News hires CNN’s fired Donna Brazile.— Lori Hendry (@Lrihendry) March 21, 2019
She was rejected after she colluded with Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2016! @FoxNews WE’RE DONE!
DISGRACED CHEATER HIRED BY FOX — Donna Brazile has joined Fox News as a political contributor— Paint King (@Paintking) March 19, 2019
She was fired by CNN after she GAVE Hillary Clinton's campaign questions prior to a March 2016 DEBATE
But the Fox FIRES HONEST Judge Jeanine Pirro — Honestly DOESN’T PAY AT FOX pic.twitter.com/g0OHWOnIY8
Brazile’s appointment also comes just days after Trump publicly blasted two of the network’s anchors asking whether they had been “trained by CNN.”
Were @FoxNews weekend anchors, @ArthelNeville and @LelandVittert, trained by CNN prior to their ratings collapse? In any event, that’s where they should be working, along with their lowest rated anchor, Shepard Smith!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2019
Since then his supporters have been picking apart Fox News’ coverage, particularly that deemed critical of Trump, and attacking the outlet’s credibility. Others declared they’d switch to rising rival One America News Network, home to host Jack Posobiec and known for its pro-Trump coverage.
FOX - So you hired Donna Brazile? The one who gave Clinton the debate questions? As a former viewer, I am not unique. You’ve been replaced by OANN & Newsmax. We will defeat you & not ONE drop of blood will spill.~ Your precious commodity - a FORMER viewer revolted by your hire.🇺🇸— The Joke's on Us ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@jokesonus4sure) March 20, 2019
BRAZILE TRIED TO CHANGE THE ELECTION YOU MORONS!!!🍕💩👿 GOODBYE FOX NEWS 🖕🏽 AND MY FOX NATION!!! I AM SWITCHING TO ONE AMERICAN NEWS One America News Network OANN NEWS! ♥🇺🇲♥ I NO LONGER TRUST FOX NEWS!!! YOU HAVE NOT BEEN FAIR AND BALANCED SINCE YOU DUMPED O'REILLY!!! pic.twitter.com/LE9CpbUkJO— Grandma 4 Trump (@Unsneakycindy) March 19, 2019
Whether Fox News faces any real threat remains to be seen. For more than 14 years the network has remained the most-watched channel in the country and the primary partisan news source of Republican voters.
What is for certain is that many of the president’s hardened supporters, who followed his campaign via internet-native outlets like Breitbart News, are turning their back on moderate Fox News in favor of new upstart networks that are reliably sympathetic to the administration.
Outrage over Brazile’s hire helps serve that shift.
David Gilmour is a reporter who specializes in national politics, internet culture, and technology.