A few notably boisterous Republicans — including the son of a former president — are complaining that Fox News apparently refused to let them access the network's spin room after the GOP presidential primary debate.
Fox News hosted the GOP's first presidential primary debate of the 2024 election season on Wednesday evening in Milwaukee.
Former president and current frontrunner Donald Trump made a spectacle of his decision to skip the Fox News debate, instead choosing to appear in an interview with the network's ousted star anchor, Tucker Carlson.
Despite Mr Trump's decision not to join the debate, surrogates in the form of Don Jr, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Congressman Matt Gaetz visited the debate to hang around the spin room of sing his praises to the press.
Fox News turned them away, according to the New York Post.
Don Jr complained that "Fox won't let me into the spin room," which should not have come as a surprise considering his father skipped the debate and Fox News had already indicated it would not allow surrogates for candidates who were not participating to join the spin room.
“It shouldn’t surprise us and it’s also why Trump was 100% right not to go to this debate,” Don Jr fumed after his rejection.
“Fox News is trying to censor and silence Trump supporters to protect their hand-picked establishment candidates,” Don Jr wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
Fox News is trying to censor and silence Trump supporters to protect their hand-picked establishment candidates.
That's a big reason why their ratings are dying, while my father's interview with Tucker Carlson is already at 93 million views!!! https://t.co/Qf4LI63BiB
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) August 24, 2023
Ms Guilfoyle complained that the decision was "un-American."
Ms Greene was similarly denied access, prompting her to complain to her boyfriend, RSBN commenter Brian Glenn, during a live interview. She said the decision was "censorship" by Fox News.
Fox News security blocks Donald Trump Jr. from going into the spin room at the Milwaukee debate.
“It shouldn’t surprise us and it’s also why Trump was 100% right not to go to this debate,” he says. pic.twitter.com/6oZW0JP0xw
— Gregory Korte (@gregorykorte) August 24, 2023
"They just blocked us out," she said. "They would not allow myself, Matt Gaetz or the other Trump surrogates to go into the spin room. We argued with them. Talked to them. We showed the correct credentials ... And they would not let us in, so this is censorship from Fox News. This is censorship, not allowing surrogates for President Trump to go into the spin room."
Despite Ms Greene's ostensible conservative belief that companies should be largely left to make their own decisions without government intervention, she could not help but fume about her rejection, even after Glenn tried to move onto a different topic.
"I'm sorry, I'm still so mad that we've just been blocked out," she said. "I literally am furious."
"We have freedom of speech. President Trump's speech is constantly being canceled, Brian," she said, to a live audience, while Mr Trump was busy voluntarily giving an interview to Tucker Carlson. "He's being arrested and indicted and indicted in Fulton County tomorrow because of his speech, because he said the election was stolen in 2020. And now us as surrogates for President Trump supporting his candidacy, wanting to talk about his message in the spin room tonight, had been censored and blocked out."
What Ms Greene and the other surrogates failed to mention in their complaints was that Mr Trump not only chose to skip the debate, but he scheduled an interview with Carlson for the same time slot. He apparently hoped to siphon off Fox News' viewers for his interview and then send his loyalists once the event was over to continue benefitting on Fox's dime.
The Independent has reached out to Fox News for comment.