The Tampa Bay Times is examining the Florida governor's close relationship with Fox News, revealing how "DeSantis has wielded the country’s largest conservative megaphone and show a striking effort by Fox to inflate the Republican’s profile." But DeSantis doesn't go on every Fox News show "DeSantis is selective," reports the Tampa Bay Times' Steve Contorno. "He favors the friendlier hosts and larger reach of Fox’s morning show and primetime lineup. Dozens of appeals by Fox’s newsier daytime programs and lesser-watched weekend shows were turned down. After four appearances in five days on opinion-themed Fox shows, DeSantis received requests to go one-on-one with Chris Wallace, the Fox News Sunday host known for his probing questions, and with Bret Baier, the network’s well-regarded chief political correspondent." DeSantis didn't go on either of their shows. Contorno adds that "there are few surprises when DeSantis goes live with Fox. 'Exclusive' events like Jan. 22 are carefully crafted with guidance from DeSantis’ team. Topics, talking points and even graphics are shared in advance. Once, a Fox producer offered to let DeSantis pick the subject matter if he agreed to come on." Additionally, says Contorno, "representatives for Fox have publicly made clear that the network’s morning show and nighttime political commentators are not held to the same editorial rigors as the news division. DeSantis has used this to his advantage." He adds: "Fox News owns a significant space in DeSantis’ swift political ascent. It was through Fox that Trump discovered DeSantis — a little-known congressman from the Jacksonville suburbs who became one of the president’s fiercest allies. An endorsement for governor soon followed, paving the way for DeSantis’ takeover of Tallahassee. DeSantis disappeared from Fox’s airwaves after entering the governor’s office in 2019, a tactical pivot from national politics. His absence didn’t go unnoticed. Early in 2021, a producer for Fox’s best-known personality, Sean Hannity, pointed out DeSantis wasn’t making his regular appearances on the show. Since Trump’s defeat, DeSantis is a Fox regular once more. In the first six months of 2021, DeSantis had scheduled as many appearances with top Fox hosts Hannity (8 times), Tucker Carlson (6) and Laura Ingraham (7) as he had meetings with his lieutenant governor, Jeanette Nuñez (7), according to his public calendar."
TOPICS: Ron DeSantis, Fox News Channel, Cable News