Limbaugh Rails on Fox News: 'You Don’t Turn on the People Who Got You Where You Are'
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Conservative talk radio king Rush Limbaugh gave some free advice to the Fox News Channel that corporate executives should heed if they plan to keep their network No. 1 among right-leaning viewers: Stop alienating them.
Fox News began hemorrhaging viewers following horrific Election Night coverage in which the network called Arizona way early for Democrat Joe Biden and claimed that Democrats were going to pick up between five and 15 House seats.
Now, The Associated Press called Arizona for Biden on Thursday (it’s not clear if the Trump campaign will file any legal challenges there), but it is looking like House Democrats will lose nearly 15 seats rather than gain them.
Since Election Night, President Donald Trump has blasted the network’s sudden bias after courting him (and legions of viewers) for the past four years. And since Election Night, the network’s stock shares have fallen precipitously, leading Limbaugh to warn:
There’s a key rule I’ve always believed in media, which is what I’m in. I’m in talk radio. And it actually goes back to the William Holden quote here in that movie, The Wild Bunch.
You do not turn on your base. You do not turn on your audience, unless you’ve had some kind of — you just don’t — you don’t do it for the sake of the approval of your enemies. You don’t turn on the people who got you where you are because you would rather be friends with other people. You just don’t do it. And that appears to be what’s happened here.
We’ve got Donna Brazile all over the place. We’ve got everybody on a talking head interview, half of them or more are New York Times or Washington Post Democrat media people. The Arizona call. Some even think the Chris Wallace debate think is an anti-Trump move. But, you know, throughout all of this, the media can’t turn talk radio, can they? The media has been desperate to blow up talk radio and Fox News. They’ve wanted to blow up Fox News ever since Fox News was founded and created. And they’ve wanted to blow talk radio up since before that.
They’ve wanted to destroy me and my character and that of anybody else who hosts a talk radio program. Why is it do you think — it looks like they may be having some success now in blowing up Fox. I mean, you’ve got the wife of one of the Murdoch brothers tweeting out: We did it, we did it, we got rid of Trump, we did it. It was Lachlan Murdoch’s wife. So it looks like they may be succeeding in turning portions of Fox against its base.
Let me tell you something, folks. If the people running Fox succeed in destroying the distinction that Fox has from the rest of the media, they’re gonna destroy Fox. If they are successful in taking away from Fox the things that distinguish it and make it appear different from the rest of the Drive-By Media, what do you think’s gonna happen?
Limbaugh noted that talk radio hosts like him have kept and grown listeners over the years because "we do not stab our audience in the back."
Later, the host corrected, "I got my Murdoch brothers reversed. It’s James Murdoch’s wife who tweeted: We did it. We did it. We got rid of Trump. I said it was Lachlan’s wife, and I think it was James Murdoch’s wife. Story is that Lachlan Murdoch is conservative. That’s the story.”
Nevertheless, he's right about Fox News; the network is losing out to Newsmax and One America News Network and that's entirely a self-inflicted wound.