New York – Fox News Channel says it won’t air any more ads from a wealthy Democratic donor advocating US President Donald Trump’s impeachment due its viewers’ strong negative reaction.
One negative reaction was from Trump himself, who tweeted that donor Tom Steyer was “wacky and totally unhinged”.
Steyer, a billionaire hedge fund operator, calls on television viewers to sign a petition urging Trump’s impeachment. His lawyer, Brad Deutsch, said on Monday that 1.5 million people had signed the petition.
“People in Congress and his own administration know that this president is a clear and present danger, who’s mentally unstable and armed with nuclear weapons, and they do nothing,” Steyer said in the ad, which has also aired on CNN and other stations.
Three times on the morning of October 27, the ad aired during Fox & Friends, the morning show popular with Trump and his fans.
Trump tweeted about “Wacky and Totally Unhinged Tom Steyer, who has been fighting me and my Make America Great Again agenda”.
Steyer had bought seven more ads for the following week on Fox News, Deutsch said, but the company called and cancelled them.
“Due to the strong negative reaction to their ad by our viewers, we could not in good conscience take their money,” said Jack Abernethy, co-president of Fox News.
Deutsch noted that the ad had aired on other stations owned by Fox News’ parent company, even during the World Series. He said Steyer believes that Fox succumbed to pressure from the White House to scuttle the ad.
“Fox News is admitting that they don’t provide their viewers with information if the information upsets their audience,” he said. “Are they making the same decisions with respect to the news?”
Fox had no additional comment on the ad’s cancellation