Fox News lays off politics editor who defended early Arizona call for Biden
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January 20, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – On the eve of Joe Biden’s inauguration as President of the United States, Fox News announced layoffs of just under 20 employees of its digital operation, most prominently embattled politics editor Chris Stirewalt.
“As we conclude the 2020 election cycle, FOX News Digital has realigned its business and reporting structure to meet the demands of this new era,” Fox explained in a statement, the Daily Caller reported. “We are confident these changes will ensure the platform continues to deliver breakthrough reporting and insightful analysis surrounding major issues, both stateside and abroad.”
Stirewalt, a member of Fox’s Election Night decision desk last November, became a focal point for conservative ire through his defense of the desk’s decision to declare Biden had won Arizona long before any of its competitors. (Biden ultimately won Arizona, though questions remain as to how much of the vote was tainted by fraud.)
That call was only one of a string of incidents leading conservative viewers to sour on Fox News from anchor Chris Wallace’s biased performance in the first presidential debate to host Melissa Francis telling former House Speaker Newt Gingrich not to bring up leftist billionaire George Soros’s intervention in district attorney elections across the country.
The Caller added that a Fox source claims the layoffs are unrelated to “anything surrounding the 2020 election,” but conservatives’ growing sense that Fox has turned against them has led to Fox taking a hit in the ratings. On January 12, its every afternoon and evening show lost to both CNN and MSNBC (with populist conservative commentator Tucker Carlson the least affected, and the only host to beat someone in either competitor’s timeslot):
TV RATINGS: Tuesday Jan. 12, MSNBC and CNN took the top spots in total viewers with @Maddow at #1 followed by @ChrisCuomo, @andersoncooper, @wolfblitzer, @donlemon & @TuckerCarlson. https://t.co/c0qdiIGieQ pic.twitter.com/VWQCjynaCX— TV News HQ (@TVNewsHQ) January 13, 2021
Fox’s struggles have been a boon to conservative media competitors such as NewsMax, One America News Network (OANN), The First TV, and Blaze TV.