Paul Ryan Pushing Fox News to Stop Giving Trump Positive Coverage

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Former House Speaker Paul Ryan appeared to have a companionable relationship with President Donald Trump when the two shared power in 2017 and 2018, but one could always detect a certain amount of acrimony lurking beneath the surface. Ryan was a (very) latecomer to the Trump Train during the campaign, and he didn’t do a great job getting the wall passed through Congress. Not all of the latter was his fault – the legislation ran into bigger trouble in the Senate – but you could tell that Ryan and Trump were not ever 100% on the same page.

In recent months, Ryan has spoken to authors and journalists about how he viewed the president. In the book “American Carnage,” Ryan told author Tim Alberta that Trump came to Washington “uneducated about the government,” and claimed the president had to rely on the House Speaker to navigate the complicated world of governing.

He also had some pointed things to say about Trump’s personal behavior.

“We’ve gotten so numbed by it all,” Ryan said. “Not in government, but where we live our lives, we have a responsibility to try and rebuild. Don’t call a woman a ‘horse face.’ Don’t cheat on your wife. Don’t cheat on anything. Be a good person. Set a good example.”

Apparently, Ryan, who now sits on the board of Fox Corp., is still not the president’s biggest fan. According to a report from Vanity Fair, Ryan is pushing Fox News to “decisively break” with President Trump – a move in line with CEO Lachlan Murdoch’s desire to move the cable news channel “to the center.”

“Paul is embarrassed about Trump and now he has the power to do something about it,” a Fox Corp. executive told the magazine.

Fox News still offers a much more conservative and balanced view of the day’s news than you’ll find at, say, CNN, but that’s not saying much. For as much conservative programming that remains on the channel, the cracks have definitely begun to show in recent years. Shepard Smith, Chris Wallace, and Bret Baier are among the new anchors who have shown an increasing propensity to sound like their liberal media counterparts. Is this the extent of Murdoch’s desire to move Fox News to the “center,” or is there more to come? Would they dare to clean out their primetime lineup, which habitually destroys the competition?

The left commonly muses on the death of the Republican Party, brought on prematurely by the rise of Trump. This is more wishful thinking than anything, though, and if Ryan and Lachlan Murdoch are buying into this fantasy, they are making a huge mistake. Fox News fills an essential void in the cable news landscape right now. If they abandon it, someone else will jump in and take up Roger Ailes’ mantle. Fox News (much like Paul Ryan) will be yesterday’s news.