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  • Donald Trump's delusional response to the coronavirus is causing a crisis of confidence at Fox News. (Photo: MPG Collage)

    Donald Trump is seeing more push back on Fox News, but still has staunch allies at the network. (Photo; NYI collage)

    Fox News has been more vigilant about calling out Donald Trump for lies and disinformation on the 2024 campaign trail, in a critical shift that could impact his election chances.

    The cable network is increasingly cutting away from Trump during rallies to immediately correct repeatedly debunked claims about the last election and other misleading statements, according to a political consultant based in Sweden.

    But other reports claim Trump still holds considerable sway over the cable network.

    In one telling instance, Trump demanded and was able to preempt longtime sycophant Sean Hannity to hold a town hall with Iowa voters in Hannity’s 9 pm slot. Trump wanted to counter CNN’s Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley debate, according to Brian Stetler in Vanity Fair.

    “This was a stipulation from the Trump folks to do it at that hour… It was the Trump campaign’s demand.” according to Fox News anchor Bret Baier.

    Still, Louis Perron, a political scientist, consultant and TEDx speaker, asserts that Fox anchors are confronting the former President unlike the 2020 election, where Fox was a virtual extension of Trump’s campaign.

    “This is no small thing. Former President Barack Obama, for example, was said to have estimated that Fox News cost him five percent of his approval rating.” says Perron in a statement.

    Fox Business commentator Stuart Varney raised eyebrows, recently, when he challenged Trump’s campaign press secretary over Trump’s derogatory name for California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

    Trump has been calling Newsom “New-scum” in campaign speeches. (Watch the video)

    “I see this as a concerted effort by Fox News of pushing back against Trump,” Perron said.

    “But there’s a bigger point to be made. A word such as ‘scum’ is classic rhetoric that totalitarian leaders use(d) to demonize the opposition.

    “We have to make sure we don’t lose basic civility in our discourse. Words matter,” he says.

    Dominion Voting Systems may be one big catalyst behind the change. The vote tabulating company sued Fox for $1.6 billion for defamation arising out of the 2020 election.

    Fox commentators repeated Trump’s false claims that its voting machines were “rigged” without any evidence or push back or an offer to respond from the cable network.

    Fox ultimately settled the lawsuit for $787.5 million but not before emails were released as part of the suit.

    They showed Fox commentators like ex-host Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and others privately acknowledging that Trump had lost the election while promoting Trump’s election lies on the air. Fox is still facing other lawsuits on the same grounds.

    A New York judge, earlier this year, gave the green light to proceed for a lawsuit filed by Smartmatic, another voting machine company. It charges that Fox repeatedly gave airtime to far-right figures who promoted outrageous and debunked claims that Smartmatic rigged the presidential election.

    Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch once a staunch Trump backer, now reportedly loathes the former president, according to author Michael Wolff, who is writing a book about the media mogul.

    Murdoch has gone so far as to wish Trump would die, according to Wolff.

    Murdoch reportedly directed Fox and his other media properties to hype the 2024 candidacy of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, but that backfired when DeSantis’s campaign collapsed during the primary.

    Other Fox talking heads like Hannity, Jesse Watters, Jeanine Pirro, Maria Bartiromo, Pete Hegseth and Greg Gutfeld are still Trump sycophants.

    But Varney was absolutely right to ask that question, Perron says.

    “I also agree with the host that this kind of language is bad politics, as in it’s not something that will appeal to swing voters.”

    Louis Perron’s latest book is “Beat the Incumbent: Proven Strategies and Tactics to Win Elections.”