Conservatives' favorite media outlet is at war again with conservatives' favorite 2016 presidential nominee…
Donald Trump polls 25% in a new Quinnipiac University dataset that came out Sept. 24. That's slightly down from the institute's Aug. 27 poll that had Trump at 28%, but still puts him well in front of the GOP's 2016 presidential field. Trump also landed in the top spot with 26% of Republican primary voters in a New Hampshire-specific CNN/WMUR primary poll out the same day. New Hampshire is one of the two most important primary states – it, along with Iowa, sets the pace of every presidential election.
But another feud broke out on Wednesday between Trump and FOX News – and this time, the differences may be irreconcilable.
First, you'll need some history to frame the latest development…
Donald Trump Polls Go Up; FOX News Support Goes Down
On Aug. 11, we told readers about a developing riff between the billionaire and the news network. Despite the fact that Donald Trump polled at least 10% higher than any other Republican candidate after the first GOP debate aired on FOX News on Aug. 6, the network's reporting on Trump took a noticeable, negative turn.
Check out these Donald Trump-happy pre-Aug. 6 FOX News headlines covering the entrepreneur:
- "Gretchen's Take: Donald Trump's Popularity Continues to Grow" on Aug. 4;
- "In the Battle of Billionaires, Howard Schultz Doesn't Measure Up to Trump" on Aug. 5;
- "Trump Crushes Competition in New Poll Ahead of GOP Debate" on Aug. 3;
- "The Trump Revolution: Has The Donald Transformed the GOP?" on Aug. 3;
- "What Would a Donald Trump White House Look Like?" on Aug. 3; and
- "Is Trump the One-Man, 2016 Tea Party Wave" on Aug. 2.
Compare with these post-debate headlines from the network:
- "Halftime Report: Trump the Biggest Baby to Seek Office" on Aug. 10;
- "Donald Trump's Policy Approach a Mystery amid Lack of Detail" on Aug. 10;
- "Trump Loses Republican Debate but Rubio, Cruz, and Others Triumph" on Aug. 7; and
- "Is Donald Trump Part of the 'War on Women'?" on Aug. 7.
A verbal spat between Trump and popular network anchor and debate moderator Megyn Kelly occurred during and after the debate. That's been highly touted as the reason FOX News changed its tune – but we're not buying it.
The real reason FOX News is at odds with the Donald Trump campaign has nothing to do with Kelly or Stone – and has everything to do with establishment politics.You see, in the opening 30 seconds of the first GOP debate, the real-estate billionaire refused to pledge to support the Republican nominee and not run as a third-party candidate. Moderator Bret Baier asked that candidates who refused to take the pledge raise their hand. Trump's immediately went up in the air.
"I cannot say. I have to respect the person that if it's not me, the person that wins," he said.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has directly called on all candidates to pledge not to make a third-party run.
Disobey establishment command, and the RNC can easily lock Trump out of future debates. It can withhold from him crucial voter data.
And it can pit FOX News – the voice box of the RNC – against the Donald Trump campaign.
Which brings us to the latest in the Donald Trump-FOX News feud…
The Latest FOX News-Donald Trump Feud
On Wednesday, Donald Trump tweeted out a message saying he intends to boycott FOX News:
Trump had been scheduled to appear on "O'Reilly Factor" Thursday night.
The network snapped back with an official statement saying Trump wasn't boycotting – he'd been cancelled:
At 11:45am today, we canceled Donald Trump's scheduled appearance on The O'Reilly Factor on Thursday, which resulted in Mr. Trump's subsequent tweet about his 'boycott' of FOX News. The press predictably jumped to cover his tweet, creating yet another distraction from any real issues that Mr. Trump might be questioned about. When coverage doesn't go his way, he engages in personal attacks on our anchors and hosts, which has grown stale and tiresome. He doesn't seem to grasp that candidates telling journalists what to ask is not how the media works in this country.
Then Trump's campaign responded with an official statement to the press of its own:
Mr. Trump stands by his statement made earlier today. As a candidate for President of the United States and the definitive front runner in every poll, both nationally and state wide, including the just released poll in the state of Florida, Mr. Trump expects to be treated fairly. All you have to do is look at the tremendous ratings last night from the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where Mr. Trump was the guest, or the ratings from both debates, to fully understand the facts.
The last riff between Trump and FOX News eventually faded. He appeared on "O'Reilly Factor," "Hannity," "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren," among others, in late August through most of September.
But this week's exchange felt more personal, with official statements from the network and Trump's staunch vow to boycott.
Despite the falling out, Donald Trump polls continue to shine.
Donald Trump's Bankrupt Past: The Donald's net worth currently stands at $4.1 billion. Yet the real estate tycoon has undergone four bankruptcies. Here's a breakdown of each one – and the truth about why voters don't consider them "red flags" for the 2016 election…
- Quinnipiac University Poll: Sept. 24, 2015
- CNN/WMUR New Hampshire Primary Poll: Trump Still Atop Field in NH, Fiorina Rises to Second