For Donald Trump, a silver lining has emerged from his Thursday indictment at the hands of a Manhattan grand jury: The former president—who reportedly faces more than 30 counts related to business fraud and is expected to surrender to District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office for arraignment early next week—finally has Fox News back in his corner after it spent months drifting from his orbit and flirting with his potential replacements.
The network’s immediate reaction was apoplectic, with some hosts suggesting the indictment could lead to violence or even civil war. “The country’s not gonna stand for it, and people better be careful,” warned host Jesse Watters. “That’s all I’ll say about that.”
At one point in his broadcast, Watters, who falsely claimed that Democrats had indicted “a former president over sex,” admitted the news had made him “emotional.” He was not the only person on Fox who appeared to turn on the waterworks. “I don’t really feel right right now living in this police state,” said a teary-eyed Dan Bongino, a former NYPD officer turned conservative commentator.
Fox’s outpouring of support comes on the heels of a monthslong schism between Trump and the network he once treated as both gospel and surrogate. Earlier this month, Semafor reported that Fox News had placed a “soft ban” on appearances by Trump, and the network had more recently been elevating Ron DeSantis as a viable 2024 alternative to the former president. No doubt adding to this tension was the trickle of revelations from Dominion’s defamation suit against Fox News, which laid bare the anti-Trump feelings privately held by top hosts and executives. But earlier this week, after Trump had claimed his arrest was imminent, Fox seemed to let bygones be bygones. Sean Hannity invited him to appear Monday for his first interview on the network since November. And now that the indictment has finally come, the network is awarding Trump and his 2024 campaign with a flood of sympathetic coverage worth far more than one appearance.
On Tucker Carlson’s show, the tone was less doleful and more vengeful. The prime-time host advised his viewers “[not] to give up your AR-15” and warned that the indictment amounted to Trump supporters losing their rights as well. “If you believe in our system and you want it to continue, you have to raise your hand and say stop,” he said in another segment. “Because this is too great an assault on our system, much greater than anything we saw on January 6, that’s for certain.”
Likewise, Glenn Beck, founder of TheBlaze, shared his own call to action on Tucker Carlson Tonight. “What this is all about, I believe, is trying to inflame this country,” he told the host. “They’ve wanted violence from the right from the beginning—they need it.” After connecting the Trump indictment to a conspiracy to remake America and do away with the Bill of Rights, Beck predicted that “by 2025, we are going to be at war”—a sentiment that featured prominently throughout Fox’s coverage of the indictment. “It’s time for the Republican Party to understand that this is a war on the party,” Mark Levin echoed during an appearance on Hannity. “It is a war on conservatism and MAGA.”