After Paul Ryan criticized the Republican Party for supposedly being too devoted to former President Donald Trump, multiple legacy news anchors called on Ryan to use his position on the board of Fox News’ parent company to muzzle the network’s “extremism.” One of Ryan’s former colleagues, Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), went on the network to say, “I hope he uses that position” to “start deplatforming some of these nuts that they put on.”
Dent’s remarks came shortly after Ryan gave a 25-minute speech at the Reagan Library Thursday night saying the GOP cannot depend on “the populist appeal of one personality, or of second-rate imitations.”
Ryan, who held a fundraiser for Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) after the first interparty skirmishes this winter, also warned conservatives “not to get caught up in every little cultural battle,” because they are sometimes “just creations of outrage peddlers detached from reality.”
Ryan “sits on the board of Fox Corporation, which has as its subsidiary Fox News,” said Chris Cuomo. “If he really cared about the integrity of his party, and staying away from the culture wars, and focusing on your real principles, what’s he doing sitting on that board?”
Dent replied, “I hope he uses that position, to try to get Fox into a better place when it comes to these types of incendiary stories that they too often broadcast, particularly under opinion shows.”
“He can make a difference,” said Dent, a liberal Republican who voted against defunding Planned Parenthood. “He can start deplatforming some of these nuts that they put on, on the shows there that we all know, are causing problems.”
“We’ll see if he does,” Cuomo responded.
The calls to muzzle the top-rated network on cable continued Friday morning, as CNN’s Jim Acosta said, “If he wants to stop extremism or do something about extremism in America, he sits on the board of Fox News. He can do something about it right now.”
FNC is “becoming a dangerous haven for extremist ideas,” Acosta said on CNN’s “New Day.”
“If Paul Ryan wants to do something,” Acosta said, “please give a speech over on the Avenue of the Americas over in midtown Manhattan” — where Fox News is headquartered — “because that’s where he could do some good right now.”
Acosta earlier in the month called Fox News “a bulls**t factory” that is “just demolishing what was left of a civil discourse in this country.”
Acosta became one of several legacy media personalities to savage Ryan and highlight his ties to their more successful cable news competitor.
Anderson Cooper noted that Paul Ryan “sits on the board of Fox” before asking, “Does he have the moral high ground here?”
CNN’s political director, David Cahlian said “it’s a fair question” whether Ryan is “taking that same message inside the FOX Boardroom.”
“Obviously,” he continued, “in terms of outrage peddling, they’ve cornered the market in many ways.”
MSNBC also got in on the act, as guest Charlie Sykes of The Bulwark called Ryan’s speech “a very, very tiny step.”
“He’s talking about the future of the conservative movement, but he’s not addressing the cancer of the Big Lie,” “the purges in the House of Representatives,” or “the contagion of crazy and conspiracy theories that’s plaguing the Republican Party,” Sykes continued.
He added that Ryan did not “address the role of Fox News in the future of the conservative movement or the Republican Party — which is interesting because, of course, Paul Ryan sits on the board of directors of the Fox Corporation.”
“I’m tired of being disappointed by Paul Ryan,” Sykes said.
Others believe Ryan has already made his influence felt at the network. Former President Donald Trump wrote Friday morning that “the day that Ryan went on the board of Fox,” the network “totally lost its way and became a much different place, with millions of its greatest supporters fleeing for good.”
“Fox will never be the same!” Trump added.
Fox briefly lost its first-in-cable status to CNN on January 6 but has since rebounded, winning the coveted spot for the last 14 weeks.