In the age of Trump, Paul Ryan no longer has even a fraction of the influence over the Republican Party’s grassroots that he once did. But the former House Speaker presumably does wield power as a member of Fox Corporation’s board of directors. Fox Corp. is Fox News’ parent company.
It’s unclear why the Murdochs rewarded Ryan, given Trump’s disdain for the man. But for one reason or another, Ryan hasn’t interfered in the network’s editorial decisions, despite his criticisms of Trump. (RELATED: Controversial Journalist Secures Mega-Deal With Fox News Media)
At least not yet.
While other Never Trump Republicans have made public overtures to Ryan to rein in Fox’s opinion programming, influential members of Congress have kept their mouths shut.
However, a source close to Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) told the press that Cheney’s wanted to force Ryan to take action after hearing text messages from Fox News hosts to Mark Meadows during the Capitol attack.
“A Smoke Signal to Paul Ryan”
Hot Air reports on her rumored plan:
Rather, maybe Cheney wants him to intervene to make sure that what the anchors are saying publicly to Fox viewers is the same thing they’re saying privately. If they thought Trump was derelict in his duty on January 6 to stop the riot, they shouldn’t pretend otherwise on air. Right, Geraldo?
Likewise, if they and their families are vaccinated, their vaccine coverage shouldn’t be stridently and consistently negative. But you know what Ryan would say to that: It’s not his job to interfere editorially with the primetime hosts. He’s a director, someone concerned with the business side of Fox, not a news executive. And business is booming.
To all appearances he’s happy as a clam in his Fox Corp. sinecure, content to profit from the Trumpist turn in the party the way so many others have. I have no sense of whether he even exercises meaningful influence over how Fox operates. Presumably Fox’s leadership wants him on the board purely as a figurehead, not because they value his advice. So it’s not just a question of why he doesn’t intervene, it’s a question of whether he’d be capable if he wanted to.
Do you think Paul Ryan will do anything to influence Fox News’ coverage? Or is it impossible to imagine Ryan getting Fox executives to impose restrictions on primetime stars like Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity?