The Listening Post

Trump: Is Fox News turning its back on US president?

Faced with impeachment inquiry, is Trump losing friends at Fox News? Plus, Indian PM Modi’s global charm offensive.

On The Listening Post this week: Faced with an impeachment inquiry in Congress, is President Donald Trump losing friends at Fox News? Plus, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s global charm offensive.

Is Fox News drawing the line on support of Trump?

As the impeachment inquiry in Washington gathers steam, President Trump tweets about a coup, and talk of a looming civil war, there are signs of unrest at the biggest and most influential news network in the country, Fox News.

The complaint at the centre of the impeachment story, filed by an anonymous whistle-blower, alleges Trump abused his powers by asking President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, a potential opponent in next year’s presidential election.

Although Fox has been a bedrock of support for this president, there have long been signs of dissent at the network as to where Fox should draw the line in its support of Trump.

But this story has exposed those divisions like never before and on-air arguments between hosts reflect a deeper split among Fox executives and within the network’s owners, the Murdoch family.

As Fox’s best-known viewer, Trump has certainly noticed that some of those angry tweets he used to reserve for CNN and the New York Times are now heading Fox’s way.


David Folkenflik – media Correspondent, NPR News and author of Murdoch’s World: The Last of the Old Media Empires

Aaron Rupar – associate editor, Vox

Alayna Treene – White House reporter, Axios

Luke O’Neil – contributing writer, The Guardian US and author of Welcome to Hell World: Dispatches from the American Dystopia

On our radar

Richard Gizbert speaks to producer Tariq Nafi about Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS)’s appearance on 60 Minutes, in which he was asked about slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi and imprisoned activist Loujain al-Hathloul.

Modi’s mega-rallies; political spectacle for the Indian diaspora

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has honed the art of the political spectacle – the rallies, the rousing speeches.

One recent rally in Houston, Texas attracted 50,000 people, including US President Donald Trump.

Although Modi supporters with foreign citizenship cannot vote in Indian elections, they do have money – Indians being among the wealthiest immigrant communities in the United States.

It also reflects well on the prime minister when emigrants seen as successful support him, and it all feeds into a well-oiled Modi messaging machine.

The Listening Post‘s Meenakshi Ravi discusses Modi’s careful and clever use of overseas Indians to appeal to voters at home.


Rohit Chopra – associate professor, Santa Clara University

Prerna Bhardwaj – CEO and founder, Vaahan Magazine

Nikita Sud – associate professor, University of Oxford

Radhika Iyer – reporter, NDTV