by John Lamparski/Getty Images.
With midterm elections barely a week away, and conservative talking points like the caravan doing their best to shore up the base, it’s no time for dissent in the conservative-media ranks. And yet, on Monday, a big rift opened up between the Drudge Report and Fox News on Twitter—a place where Donald Trump, an avowed fan of both, was bound to see it.
In two back-to-back tweets Monday morning, Matt Drudge claimed that Fox News hosts “laughed and joked their way through a discussion on political impact of terror” less than 48 hours after the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh:
It’s the conservative-media equivalent of one celebrity unfollowing another on Instagram: a very public statement that something has gone wrong in this friendship. Like Fox, the Drudge Report, which has its own “Fox News Insider” section, has been warmly embraced by the president; as recently as this past summer, on Fox News, Trump called Drudge a “great gentleman,” and said he “really has the ability to capture stories that people want to see.”
Perhaps it’s a case of sibling rivalry, the less flashy media outlet taking a shot at the cable network in hopes of currying favor. Then again, with Trump making up lies about 9/11 to justify holding a campaign rally just hours after the synagogue shooting, he might not be the target audience this time. Either way, Drudge’s critiques hit a nerve—Fox released a statement Monday afternoon that claimed “there was absolutely no joking or laughing about the events of this weekend,” and that the screenshot Drudge tweeted was misleading.