(CNN)In the space of a few hours on Thursday morning, Donald Trump, who is still the President of the United States, sent 16 tweets or retweets attacking Fox News. A sample:
“[email protected] daytime ratings have completely collapsed. Weekend daytime even WORSE. Very sad to watch this happen, but they forgot what made them successful, what got them there. They forgot the Golden Goose. The biggest difference between the 2016 Election, and 2020, was @FoxNews!”To follow the logic of that tweet, no one watches Fox anymore because they don’t treat the “Golden Goose” (Trump) fairly. But also, Fox cost Trump the election because it wasn’t as favorable to him in its coverage compared with four years ago.So, no one watches Fox but it is super influential because so many people watch … [head explodes]
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But that ridiculous argument isn’t even the worst part of Trump’s anti-Fox tweetstorm. Read MoreWhat’s far worse is that he isn’t attacking Fox News — his onetime home network — because he actually thinks that he is getting a raw deal from them. Trump is attacking Fox News because he wants to build a rival conservative network when he leaves the White House.This, from Axios, posted just hours before Trump began his extended riff on Fox News on Thursday:”President Trump has told friends he wants to start a digital media company to clobber Fox News and undermine the conservative-friendly network, sources tell Axios. … ‘He plans to wreck Fox. No doubt about it,’ said a source with detailed knowledge of Trump’s intentions.”What a coincidence, huh? Yeah, not so much.Consider where Trump will find himself on January 21, 2021: Facing personal loans totaling more than $400 million with a limited number of revenue streams and legal costs up the wazoo.Starting a TV network — or, maybe even better, a subscription-only digital network — looks like Trump’s best (only?) way to start making serious cash and quickly. Which he badly needs to do.And doing so also has the added benefit of keeping him in front of the conservative base even as he mulls whether to run again.The Point: Trump’s criticism of Fox News has very little to do with how the network covers him and almost everything to do with his own bottom line. What else is new?