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Opinion ‘Fox & Friends,’ at its transparent best

Donald Trump was such a devoted viewer of “Fox & Friends” that the show’s co-hosts once asked him to turn the White House lights on and off, just to confirm that he was watching. While in office, Trump regularly scanned the show for governing tips. So what does a lousy morning show do after it loses the president of the U.S. as its viewer in chief? “Garden-variety Republican propaganda,” says Matthew Gertz, senior fellow at Media Matters for America. Jockeying for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination is afoot, and if there's one scenario that terrifies Fox News producers, it's getting crosswise with the politician who emerges victorious from that scramble, he says.

The Fox News Primary, in other words, is a tense time at Fox News, especially when Trump is in the mix. As the 2024 race nears, "you run into problem where critical coverage of any candidate benefits another candidate," says Gertz. That the groveling came from Kilmeade added a baffling element in light of his previous comments criticizing Trump for claiming the 2020 election was stolen.