Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney, is the host of SiriusXM radio’s daily program “The Dean Obeidallah Show” and a columnist for The Daily Beast. Follow him @DeanObeidallah. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion articles on CNN.
(CNN)”Fox News Sucks! Fox News Sucks!”
For those of us who are no fans of Donald Trump, we have all likely thought words to that effect over the years as Fox News defended Trump and the Republican Party. But the chant “Fox News Sucks!” didn’t come out of the mouths of Trump’s opponents, but rather from a swath of Trump’s own supporters during Saturday’s march in Washington, D.C. Dean ObeidallahFor me, it was a beautiful sight: watching Trump supporters adorned with their Trump paraphernalia, waving Trump flags, in the streets chanting the mantra over and over. Finally, I agree with Trump supporters on something! This is not the first time Trump lovers have mocked Fox News. Days after the November 3 election, some Trump supporters were heard chanting “Fox sucks” in Arizona outside a vote counting location — reportedly because they were upset the network had called Arizona for Joe Biden before most other media outlets. But the large numbers of Trump supporters Saturday vocally eclipsed what happened in Arizona. This was clearly a reaction to Trump’s increased attack on Fox News via his tweet Thursday, where he claimed Fox News forgot he was the “Golden Goose” for their ratings. Trump, in essence, appeared to blame Fox News for his election loss, writing: “The biggest difference between the 2016 Election, and 2020, was @FoxNews!”What the vaccine won't cureRead MoreThis is akin to an updated version of Frankenstein — perhaps called Trumpenstein — where the “monster” has now turned on his “creator.” Fox News was hardly the only news organization to give Trump a giant platform during the 2016 campaign. But it was Fox’s glowing coverage that has been credited with playing a significant role in helping him get elected in 2016. Sure, the channel and the President have had their differences. But this line of attack by Trump feels different. In the past, Trump would generally complain about specific anchors or news stories — not viciously bash the entire media outlet — with the apparent goal being to push Fox to provide him even more favorable coverage. As CNN’s Brian Stelter put it, this was Trump’s “carrot-and-stick approach,” where he rewarded his Fox News defenders like Sean Hannity by granting them interviews while slamming “Fox’s dissenters.” For example, there were Trump’s attacks on then Fox News host Shepard Smith for fact checking or otherwise criticizing Trump. And there were Trump’s complaints in July 2019 of what he dubbed the network’s “terrible” polling showing him behind Joe Biden — especially galling after Fox had been great during the 2016 campaign. “@FoxNews is at it again. So different from what they used to be during the 2016 Primaries, & before.” What's next for the Trump show?The following month, Trump appeared on the verge of declaring all-out war on the network for “heavily promoting” Democrats, as he put it, adding, “We have to start looking for a new News Outlet. Fox isn’t working for us anymore!” Yet Trump continued to appear frequently on the network, from Fox & Friends to Hannity’s show. But now Trump appears to be at DEFCON 1 in his war on Fox News. On Sunday morning, in between tweeting baseless claims about voter fraud, he slammed the network because host Leland Vittert on Saturday challenged Trump spokesperson Erin Perrine for suggesting Trump might yet be able to win reelection once all ballots had been checked for fraud and properly counted. Trump linked to the interview from his tweet, which again claimed daytime Fox News had lost its ratings. Then Trump, like a human TV guide, urged his supporters to switch from Fox News to other right wing media outlets he approved of: “Many great alternatives are forming & exist,” he wrote. Get our free weekly newsletter
Sign up for CNN Opinion’s new newsletter.
Is Trump’s escalation of attacks on Fox News happening because he sincerely believes the network’s coverage in 2020 caused him to lose the election? Or could his reference to “alternatives are forming” confirm reports that Trump may be planning to start his own digital network and he’s preparing his base to dump Fox News to watch his new venture? Or are his attacks on Fox News simply more of Trump’s vindictiveness and petulance?To be clear, Trump’s nonstop attacks on all media for the past four years have been potentially destructive to our democracy. His complaints about lies and fake news were all part of his rhetoric to actively try to delegitimize the referees who call out his lies and misconduct. But with that said, it’s time to grab the popcorn and enjoy the Trump vs. Fox show. After four years of Trump, his opponents have earned this moment of joy.