You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser
and improve your visit to our site.
Skip Navigation

Donald Trump has turned Fox News’s populism against itself.

Before his “special event” began, Trump was asked about his rift with Fox. He seemed wistful and said that Fox had apologized, but it was too late to go to the debate since this event for the veterans had been set up. But he also used the occasion to defend his feud and use it as an example of the muscular leadership he would bring back to America. Sometimes, Trump said, you have to fight for what you believe and go against “the establishment”—which in this case means Fox News.

Calling Fox News “the establishment” is both accurate and a clever bit of rhetorical jujitsu. The right-wing news network is, of course, completely integrated into the Republican Party, which is a big reason why it tried to clamp down on Trump’s insurgent campaign. But Fox likes to portray itself as the underdog, fighting the supposed liberal media elite. Trump in effect out-foxed Fox, using Fox’s own narrative against the network.