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Did Trump Win his Feud with Fox News?

Did Trump Win his Feud with Fox News?


During the first Republican presidential debate earlier this month, all hell broke loose after an exchange on the “war on women” between debate moderator Megyn Kelly and contender Donald Trump. The furor over Kelly’s snark, and Trump’s audacity, boiled over into a weeks-long debate between those convinced that Kelly had wrongfully attacked Trump, and those who felt like Kelly’s question about Trump’s tone toward women was fair.

So, who won?

I’m not ready to call this for either side yet (there’s still plenty of time for either party to reload) but polling data suggests that as of right now, Donald Trump has come out on top over Fox News.

From Public Policy Polling [emphasis mine]:

Trump is winning his fight with Megyn Kelly. When we last polled her in December of 2013 her favorability with Republicans nationally was 44/9. Her favorability is in a similar place now at 42% but her negatives have shot up to 20%, largely because she’s at 20/43 with Trump’s supporters.

Trumps supporters are angry about the way the debate exchange went down, and it shows.

Meanwhile Trump’s popularity with GOP voters has just continued to grow. Last month before the debate his favorability with them was 48/39, now it’s improved to 56/30.

Not only are voters not particularly fussed about The Donald’s politically incorrect words, they’re being drawn in by those words. Is this shocking? Not necessarily; time and again, conservative voters have expressed both a frustration with typical Republican candidates, and a desire for more conservative candidates to rise to the top by challenging the status quo. Trump is neither typical, nor does he embrace the template that has defined previous Republican presidential candidates.

Fox News as a whole isn’t suffering for the feud though- in February we found 66% of Republicans said they trusted the network, and now we find 66% say they have a favorable opinion of it.

So, both Fox and Megyn Kelly’s approvals are steady, but we have a growing block of voters who have become vocally unhappy about the network’s treatment of an extremely popular, extremely visible candidate. Still, the network continues to enjoy favorables that haven’t been moved by what went down during and after the debate, so perhaps the countermeasures taken by Ailes and his team served as a levee against the onslaught of criticism.

The takeaway? Trump can take care of himself when it comes to combating a media narrative—but his influence is largely focused on the GOP voter base, which is exactly where he needs it to be.

Just as a reminder, this is how the initial exchange during the August debate went down [emphasis mine]:

MEGYN KELLY: ‘Mr. Trump, one of the things people love about you is you speak your mind and you don’t use a politician’s filter. However, that is not without its downsides, in particular, when it comes to women. You’ve called women you don’t like “fat pigs,” “dogs,” “slobs” and “disgusting animals.” Your Twitter account –’

DONALD TRUMP: ‘Only Rosie O’Donnell.’ (APPLAUSE)

MEGYN KELLY: ‘No, it wasn’t. Your Twitter account –’

DONALD TRUMP: ‘Thank you.’

MEGYN KELLY: ‘For the record, it was well beyond Rosie O’Donnell.’

DONALD TRUMP: ‘Yes, I’m sure it was.’

MEGYN KELLY: ‘Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women’s looks. You once told a contestant on “Celebrity Apprentice” it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president, and how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton, who was likely to be the Democratic nominee, that you are part of the war on women?’

TRUMP: ‘I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. (APPLAUSE) I’ve been challenged by so many people, and I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time either. This country is in big trouble. We don’t win anymore. We lose to China. We lose to Mexico both in trade and at the border. We lose to everybody. And frankly, what I say, and oftentimes it’s fun, it’s kidding. We have a good time. What I say is what I say. And honestly Megyn, if you don’t like it, I’m sorry. I’ve been very nice to you, although I could probably maybe not be, based on the way you have treated me. But I wouldn’t do that.


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I appreciate Trump’s disregard for political correctness… I just wish it were coming from all the Republican candidates.

    Ragspierre in reply to Sanddog. | September 1, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    “This will improve the number of black, Hispanic and female workers in Silicon Valley who have been passed over in favor of the H-1B program.”

    From T-rump’s immigration paper.

    Which seems pretty PC to me. Why not simply “workers”?

      Sammy Finkelman in reply to Ragspierre. | September 1, 2015 at 4:36 pm

      One of the arguments of the immigration restrictionists is that immigration hurts the least qualified U.S. citizens.

      It’s use any argument with them, so here they are in favor of affirmative action. It’s not like they are actually in favor of affirmative action discrimination, but they like to say it hurts the Americans some people most want to help – not that they otherwise interested in helping them. Not that it is a good idea.

      Any port in a storm..

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to Sanddog. | September 1, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    YES! He “Trumped” them!

    Shuuuush, jen! This is click-bait!

    Yes. It is appropriate to note how the supporters of a demagogue react to criticism and questioning – pretty much as Trump does himself: with personal insults and attacks, not reason or valid argument.

    This sort of blind cult loyalty has been seen before. It pays to keep our eyes on them. Others have dismissed groups of ignorant thugs before, only to wind up under their heels.

I hope Fox news burns. What a joke. They are just like every other news outlet out there…carrying the water for the dims while the rest of us take it, take it and take it.

The double standards are rather appalling. But, we conservatives are just supposed to bend over and take it.

Megyn Kelly, who likes to “play pretend” that she is a real journalist (pardon me while I puke on that line)can be on Howard Stern’s radio program talking all sorts of vulgar talk, yet she is right there judging Mr. Trump (who actually HAS accomplished things in his life).

Megyn Kelly, I believe, will reap what she sows. What a hypocrite. Before the debates she had already twittered that she knew a dim would win the next election. So much for objectivity. HAHAHAHAHA

I would have said they both won.

They weren’t fighting with opposed goals.

They both wanted more attention and a higher profile. They both got it.

Trump looked strong, standing up for himself. (I didn’t expect this — I thought he’d look thin-skinned, but it doesn’t seem to have worked out that way.) And Fox got to look hard on Republicans (to the Democrats that tuned in), which challenges the standard anti-Fox narrative.

The bottom line for Fox would seem to be ratings. Have they lost a lot of viewers or subscribers over this? Or are people just raging on the internet, but still avidly tuning in to see what next they can be outraged by?

    FOX News has lost invaluable credibility with a huge swath of conservatives and in a presidential election cycle.

    FOX News’ credibility is crucial to the GOP / RNC.

    I would have titled this article:

    Has Fox News Lost It’s War On Trump?

      Ragspierre in reply to VotingFemale. | September 1, 2015 at 7:18 pm

      Which would start from a delusional premise.

      Especially given that Hannity has been conducting a Trump-0-thon on his program.

      But, hey…when you get YOUR network…

        Oh, You mean NEWSMAX & OANN? *smile*

        Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | September 1, 2015 at 7:50 pm

        No, dear. I meant an actual…you know…network.


          Those are cable channels, dear, just as FOXNews is a cable channel.

          Both are expanding into more and more cable TV provider markets.

          And as a matter of fact, Sarah Palin interviewed Trump on her program On Point with Sarah Palin on the OANN cable channel quite recently. 🙂

          Here is one of the Youtube videos of that broadcast…

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | September 1, 2015 at 8:26 pm

          Mrs. Palin (note the NOT PC) interviewed LOTS of people. T-rump was just one.

          Every hear of a “lie by omission”? 😉

          I’m impressed. You can get OANN in several states (34 by my count).

          (rolls eyes)

          See what you learned today?

          Everything has a beginning and OANN has arrived.

          It won’t replace Fox but it speaks to, and for, conservatives.

          Same thing applies to the NEWSMAX channel.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | September 1, 2015 at 9:54 pm


          I’m the only one who speaks for THIS Conservative.

          Newmax is a tertiary source, having earn a “dubious” credibility rating on its print side. Not that I won’t read it. I even read teh “Conservative Tree Sloughs”…rarely.

          Who did you ask about what conservatives think?

          That is a fair question, dear. I heár and see a lot of left wing garbage on Fox, purportedly to earn a ‘fair and balanced’ slogan.

          I want unfáir and tilted, to the right. I know the left-wing by heart, I don’t need to see it everyday.

      The bottom line for Fox is not how much people rant about them on the internet. They’re in the business of selling eyeballs to advertisers. The bottom line for Fox is whether their ratings drop because of this.

      This is obviously personal for you, and for a lot of your fellow Trump fans. This is not personal for Fox News, nor for their News Corp shareholders. It’s just business.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to VotingFemale. | September 2, 2015 at 5:31 pm

      If Trump supporters are leaving Fox News, it will leave Fox News with a much more intelligent viewership than it has now.

A reminder for Megyn Kylly from the Temptations…

“Beauty’s only skin deep, yeah yeah yeah
“Beauty’s only skin deep, ooo yeah

Unfortunately Megyn’s liberal ugly came to the surface both with the War on Women BS on Trump and the later “Oh the poor illegals” attack question to Cruz. She also bubbles on like a lovesick teenager whenever that racist illegal alien producer is on her show and ditto for Jorge Ramos.

Fox is said to be swinging to the left so I guess this shouldn’t be a surprise. Goodbye Fair and Balanced.

    inspectorudy in reply to DaMav. | September 1, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    You forgot her very offensive question to Cruz. “have you heard from God lately?” I am not a religious person but that offended me. She was snarky and out for blood not information about the candidates.

    userpen in reply to DaMav. | September 1, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Underneath her beautiful skin she’s ugly. And it came out for all to see during the debate. I can’t look at her anymore without seeing her ugliness. She still has her fans as does Hillary Clinton. But her future is not much brighter than Hillary’s and Hillary is the Queen of Darkness.

      Ragspierre in reply to userpen. | September 1, 2015 at 8:37 pm

      Oh, ma GAWD, Florance…!!! I bet that Herodan wears the eye makeup and the bra_siere that makes her bos__ums look more evil to entice the menfolk!

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to DaMav. | September 2, 2015 at 3:40 am

    There was once a comment by a writer, Larry Niven I think, it said prettiness was nice, but beauty is dangerous.

Sammy Finkelman | September 1, 2015 at 4:32 pm

Mwgyn Kelly didn’t lose that argument with Donald Trump, but his attack on her made her negatives rise from near zero.

    Oh please. She absolutely got destroyed on her Facebook page immediately following the debate. She damaged her brand by being so trivial. By going after Trump in such a snarky way, she revealed who she is and that is never going to go away.

    That was one of the dumbest things Ailes could have done. Mind-boggingly stupid. They should have played it right down the middle – which is what the viewers trusted Fox News to do. They have already had enough of the gotcha stuff from the other networks.

      She absolutely got destroyed on her Facebook page immediately following the debate.

      And Chick-fil-A absolutely got destroyed on their Facebook page immediately following Mr. Cathy’s remark about traditional marriage.

      What remains to be seen is whether this current internet ragestorm will translate into a hit on Fox’s bottom line, any more than the Chick-fil-A kerfuffle was on theirs. I honestly don’t know whether it will or it won’t, but it’ll be interesting to see.

        PhillyGuy in reply to Amy in FL. | September 1, 2015 at 8:46 pm

        C’mon Amy that is just silly. You’re comparing 2 things which have no relation to each other. That’s just deflecting. You’re trying too hard to be glib.

        Kelly continues to take criticism from people and her negatives are way up. She damaged her brand. People look at her differently now. Kelly lost of lot of respect and good will from part of her audience and she won’t ever get that back.

    Ragspierre in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | September 1, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    ZOMG! The blood! The GUTS! The GORE!!!

    Kelly had the highest-rated cable news show for the month, even with her week-long vacation. Buoyed by the record-breaking showcase of Fox News Channel’s GOP debate and her 11 p.m. telecast that night, she outpaced typical victor Bill O’Reilly for only the third full month since she shifted to her high-profile primetime slot in late 2013.

    The 9 p.m. show averaged 566,000 adults 25-54, a 41 percent jump and safely above O’Reilly’s 541,000 in the news demographic. With the debate, their respective showings and Sean Hannity’s — the host welcomed one of the months higher-profile visits from Trump — FNC primetime was up a whopping 64 percent in the demo from August 2014. (All told, it was the net’s highest-rated month since November 2012.)

    Heh! Delusions are POWERFUL things. Stats are reality.

      inspectorudy in reply to Ragspierre. | September 1, 2015 at 5:04 pm

      If you had any intellectual ability to reason you might understand the “Car wreck” syndrome where people flock to see something horrible. This is what happened to Kelly. Everyone wanted to see her reaction to Trump’s continued attack on her. She failed to provide the expected explosion and she is no longer interesting to anyone who saw her cheap debate performance. I predict that her ratings will fall, especially if she ever gets another debate gig which I doubt.

        Ragspierre in reply to inspectorudy. | September 1, 2015 at 5:20 pm

        Your prediction is duly noted. You will be reminded.

        Kelly ALREADY has the next “debate” (which is NOT a debate).

        DO try to keep up.

        FOX rocked. And you have your shorts in a bunch about it!

        Estragon in reply to inspectorudy. | September 1, 2015 at 5:56 pm

        Really? She almost matched O’Reilly Thursday. You think people who hate her and swore to boycott are tuning in to see if she mentions Trump THREE WEEKS LATER?

        Pathetic fanboy. Don’t you have some Mexicans to round up or something?

          PhillyGuy in reply to Estragon. | September 1, 2015 at 8:56 pm

          Calm down and stop the insults. Make your point and turn the discussion over to others for comment. I have no idea what’s gotten into you people but all of sudden there’s all sorts of smug attitudes in here. Who the heck wants to read comments where people are going after each other every single time there’s a political post. It’s getting very childish.

          Ragspierre in reply to Estragon. | September 1, 2015 at 10:16 pm

          “C’mon Amy that is just silly. You’re comparing 2 things which have no relation to each other. That’s just deflecting. You’re trying too hard to be glib.”

          Yeh. Insulting and childish…

        Ragspierre in reply to inspectorudy. | September 1, 2015 at 9:18 pm

        “If you had any intellectual ability to reason you might understand the “Car wreck” syndrome where people flock to see something horrible.”

        BUT, he writes…

        “Calm down and stop the insults. Make your point and turn the discussion over to others for comment. I have no idea what’s gotten into you people but all of sudden there’s all sorts of smug attitudes in here. Who the heck wants to read comments where people are going after each other every single time there’s a political post. It’s getting very childish.”

        So, YOU get to insult. Got it.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | September 1, 2015 at 9:21 pm

          Sorry. Confused two of you. My bad. But the point is valid.

          PhillyGuy in reply to Ragspierre. | September 1, 2015 at 9:28 pm

          Holy cow are incredibly antagonistic. Just relax.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | September 1, 2015 at 9:43 pm

          I’ve noted your concern is directed exclusively at those of us with whom you disagree.

          I think there’s a term for that.

          I will be the passionate, take-no-bullshit, contrarian correspondent I’ve always been.

          If I think you’re wrong, you have the right to my opinion (to borrow from Mr. Ramirez’s excellent title).

Who knows? Having only watched the entire affair from a distance it might be a good thing if Kelly folded her tent and moved on, back into a discussion of important topics. Just do it, it doesn’t require a concession speech and Trump won’t conduct a victory parade.

I watch virtually no television (and no cable, sorry Fox) but she seems a valuable podium for airing conservative positions and views on matters without the rant of a Bill O’Reilly. It might be a shame to see her dismissed and classified as just another of the MSM groupies, where I’m certain she would be welcomed with open arms and a “see, we tried to tell you” message.

    PhillyGuy in reply to Owego. | September 1, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    That interview she had with Jorge Ramos right after she got back from her “vacation” sealed it for me. The guy was spewing utter nonsense and she let him go pretty much unchallenged. She’s just a hired hack.

      Ragspierre in reply to PhillyGuy. | September 1, 2015 at 4:59 pm

      Like that RINO hack, Rush Limbaugh, who LOVES to put Collectivist callers on his show, and lets them rant.

      Hell, THAT guy is a traitor! BURN HIM…!!!!

        PhillyGuy in reply to Ragspierre. | September 1, 2015 at 9:06 pm

        What has gotten into you Rags? Why are you so angry about everything? You seem to have this attitude that you have to win every single argument. I’ll bet most of the people who post here are very good people who care about the direction that this country is headed in. Your self awareness in a public forum appears to be diminishing – people are getting more and more testy with you. A few years ago you were much more calm.

          Ragspierre in reply to PhillyGuy. | September 1, 2015 at 9:14 pm

          Ah, THERE’s the “Shut UP!”

          “Why have you lost you mind, Rags? You used to be so sane!”

          Pretending concern for me. Lil’ ol’ me. I’m moved. Really.

          I don’t agree with you. Rationally. On principle.

          Deal with THAT.

          PhillyGuy in reply to PhillyGuy. | September 1, 2015 at 9:25 pm

          Rags you are overthinking. really you are.

      Ragspierre in reply to PhillyGuy. | September 1, 2015 at 5:37 pm

      OK, let’s burn Hannity, instead.

      He features Collectivist spokesholes regularly, and lets them just bloviate while he “moderates”.


        I think that Rush and Hannity take liberal callers just to tease them. It would be a boring show if all we heard was praise for the talk show host and repeating the same points.

        One thing that I dislike about many of the shows is the talking over each other. It’s one thing if you are watching the TV and can somewhat follow who says what. It’s real hard when you are listening on sat. radio – it is noise that I turn off.

        Trump is an entertainer who has the quick sarcastic reply with no substance. I’ve enjoyed seeing the clips of Cruz and others being polite, listening to others and then standing up for their opinions. I really like it when they say “excuse me, to have a debate, you need to listen what I have to say.”

        Shouting over each other is not a debate.

          Ragspierre in reply to Liz. | September 1, 2015 at 6:29 pm

          Rush and Hannity do it for two different reasons, I think.

          Rush will let them rant to expose how they think, and goof on them.

          Hannity because he makes some efforts at being a news show, and “fair and balanced”. I also think he likes to expose viewers to something besides a conservative monologue. Well, and it gives him a rest! Kinda like playing “InGodaVeta” for an FM disc jocky.

As the frau puts it, I am slightly to the right of Attila the Hun, but I like to watch Mr. Ramos on occasion because idiots make me laugh and I would watch Ms. Kelly even if she were on the rural network reading commodity prices. As far as I can tell both Trump and Kelly won if publicity is your barometer of winning.

MouseTheLuckyDog | September 1, 2015 at 5:11 pm

People are forgetting an option for Megyn, for me it seems like the most probable course of action for her. She can pull a David Brock. OK that came out dirtier then I intended.

I think that they both did just fine there. I don’t think that Kelly is very conservative, but not liberal either. Pretty much middle of the road. While Trump may have won the battle, it isn’t over, and her ability to almost lay a hand on him is going to get her a lot of ratings over the next year or so, because this isn’t the only time that these two are going to go at each other. I think that they need each other. She is the only journalist who has a real chance at laying a glove on him, and he can’t just beat up liberal “journalists”, but needs to be seen going against the best of the best, which, in this case, is Kelly.

I really think that Kelly is more mercenary than ideological. Even when she was working as an attorney for a white shoed law firm, her eyes were apparently on TV. Her legal training and experience just made her that much better when she finally got her chance. I think though that she looks at Fox News the same way that her bosses do – going conservative is just good business, taking half the market, and leaving the rest of it for the other cable news networks as well as the traditional broadcast media. So, for the most part, I think that whenever she goes after someone, like she did Trump, and Cruz, a bit, that it is more strategic than political.

    Midwest Rhino in reply to Bruce Hayden. | September 1, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    yeah, I think Megyn has an ability to drill down beyond the initial talking point, which is important to do quickly when time is short.

    Also she wants to project her fair and balanced persona by not seeming to fit the (alleged) FOX conservative mold. She has potential to reach a wider audience.

    And it’s not like the “war on women” topic will never come up with Hillary ads. But the whole topic with Trump is now mostly in the “old news” category, a trick Hillary has turned a thousand times. (though her secret server emails are like talking skeletons wandering out of her closets)

      Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to Midwest Rhino. | September 2, 2015 at 9:20 am

      Skegyn must be a real donkey’s behind….really I bet she votes straight Democrat ticket every time….

    PhillyGuy in reply to Bruce Hayden. | September 1, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    I think they were told to go after him. There are better ways to set questions like that up but she took the most confrontational path. Also the bit about bringing Ramos in and handling him a bit softly was telling. Don’t forget that stupid pledge they started the debate off with. Like I said, I think she is a hired gun

I can’t stand this asshole tRUMP, nor can I stand this horseshit ‘thumbs down’. Fuck it. LI, deleted permanently. Enough is enough!

    Chamomile tea with a bit of honey always helps me when je me sens agitée. And a ginger snap – nobody can stay cross when they’re eating ginger snaps.