king of good press?
September 27, 2019

Conservative media pundits have largely taken President Trump's infamous demands for loyalty to heart — until now.

While Fox News has long aired hosts, guests, and analysts who are nearly uniformly supportive of Trump, there's recently been a bit of a slip (one that Trump himself has certainly noticed). As Vanity Fair reported Thursday, there's some internal chaos at the network regarding a split on how to cover the mounting Ukraine scandal and resulting impeachment inquiry.

But it's not just Fox News. The wildly influential Drudge Report and its eponymous editor have also slowly turned away from consistently favorable coverage of the president, The Washington Post reported Friday. Matt Drudge "has been courted by Republican presidents and would-be presidents since he helped bring about President Bill Clinton's impeachment in 1998," writes the Post. His website shared articles deriding Hillary Clinton's campaign, and seemingly celebrated Trump's 2016 win. But, reportedly after economic numbers slowed, he's been highlighting the administration's troubles, without shying away from the seriousness of the latest allegations.

And experts say that's significant: "He's a weather vane, in a sense," the American Press Institute's Tom Rosenstiel told the Post. "If you're a Republican or conservative or an operative and you're trying to see which way the wind is blowing, the tone of Drudge has to have an effect on you. This is a signal. This is bad." Lately, Drudge has been filling his site with headlines like "IMPEACHMENT 2019," a grim tone for his millions of readers. Fox News is, of course, influential in its own way, not the least of which is the fact that Trump reportedly watches the network regularly.

As Trump takes a hit among Drudge readers, Fox News is reportedly preparing for its "post-Trump future," something Fox pundits like Chris Wallace, Andrew Napolitano, Neil Cavuto, and Shep Smith seem to be getting a head start on. Summer Meza

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