Fox News host Neil Cavuto tore into President Trump during his closing monologue tonight, defending his network from the president’s criticism earlier this week that Fox “isn’t working for us anymore.”
“Well I think the president watches Fox,” Cavuto began. “I also think he is getting sick of Fox. Which is weird because I think he gets pretty fair coverage at Fox.”
Cavuto has been a strong advocate of the Trump presidency, on a cable news network often referred to as “Trump TV.”
After reading Trump’s tweet, Cavuto said, “first of all Mr. President, we don’t work for you. I don’t work for you. My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you. Just report on you.”
Cavuto said his job as a journalist covering business and the economy in particular was to report on economic numbers when they are good and bad, and when trade talks are going poorly and when it looks like there will be a deal.
“It is called being fair and balanced Mr. President,” Cavuto said. “Yet it is fair to say you’re not a fan when that balance includes stuff you don’t like to hear or facts you don’t like to have questioned.”
Cavuto said Trump must deal with that because it is part of the job of being president, just as checking what Trump says is the job of Cavuto and other journalists.
“After all, I’m not the one who said tariffs are a wonderful thing, you are. Just like I’m not the one who said Mexico would pay for the wall, you did,” Cavuto said. “Just like I’m not the one who claimed that Russia didn’t meddle in the 2016 election, you did.”
Cavuto said he was sorry if Trump didn’t like these facts being brought up, but that it was not fake to bring them up. What would be fake, Cavuto said, would be if he never brought up things that Trump had actually said.
“If I ignored all the times you said you loved your old Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, until you didn’t,” Cavuto said. He also noted that Trump had said he would not fire his former Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen until she was fired, and that he’d called China’s leader an enemy of the United States one day before reversing his statement.
Cavuto said sometimes Trump doesn’t even wait that long, noting the president voiced support for new background checks on guns before hours later saying the nation’s background check laws were strong.
“These aren’t fake items, they’re real items and you really said them,” Cavuto said.
“Just like you never paid to silence a porn star until it turns out you did,” Cavuto said, as a photo of Stormy Daniels was shown in the background.
“Never ordered your former White House counsel Don McGahn to fire [former special counsel] Bob Mueller,” Cavuto said, “until we learned you tried.”
“Fake is when it’s wrong Mr. President, not when it’s unpleasant,” said Cavuto, adding that Trump can’t get his own set of facts.
“You’re right to say the media isn’t fair to you. That they’re more inclined to report the bad than anything good about you. So it is no surprise you’re frustrated that more aren’t in line with you,” he said. “That everyone at Fox might not be in lockstep with you. You might even think that those who are work for you. They don’t. I don’t.”
“Hard as it is to fathom, Mr. President, just because you’re the leader of the free world, doesn’t entitle you to a free pass, just a free press. Goodnight,” Cavuto continued.
The criticism from Cavuto comes after Trump tweeted his supporters “have to start looking for a new News Outlet.”
Trump has taken particular exception to Fox News’s hiring of former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile.
Trump has also criticized Juan Williams, and chief news anchor Shepard Smith in his claims the network is biased against him.
The disagreement between Trump and his favorite news channel comes at a time when a new non-partisan Quinnipiac poll shows him losing badly to five Democratic candidates in hypothetical matchups next year.