Fox News Media abruptly canceled Lou Dobbs’ nightly show on Friday, putting an end to its business channel’s most popular show—and to one of the most Donald Trump-friendly voices on national television.
Dobbs was one of the loudest and most aggressive proponents in the national media of the idea that the 2020 election was “stolen” from Trump, and in particular the various theories that voting machines were rigged against Trump. Dobbs frequently hosted Trump’s attorney Sidney Powell and other guests who pushed the unfounded conspiracies—and raged against guests who weren’t sufficiently on board with the falsehoods.
On Thursday, voting technology company Smartmatic, which Dobbs and others in his circle have falsely accused of helping rig the election, filed a $2.7 billion lawsuit against Dobbs, several other Fox News hosts, and the channel itself. According to the Los Angeles Times, which first reported the news of Dobbs’ cancellation, the decision was not related to the lawsuit, but part of a planned overhaul of the channel’s lineups. However, the decision to immediately pull the plug on Dobbs after last night’s show seems an abrupt way to end the run of Fox Business’ top-rated show.
Dobbs has long been known as a strong conservative voice, railing against high immigration and helping stoke birtherism conspiracy theories, but since Trump’s election, his commentary became increasingly fawning and often bizarre. For example, on the day legendary journalist Bob Woodward released taped phone calls with Trump, revealing that the then-president knew how deadly the COVID-19 pandemic was—while simultaneously downplaying its danger—Dobbs seemed to be broadcasting from a different universe.
“President Trump today had a great day. A day that any president could only dream of” pic.twitter.com/gUZHTqGOxF
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) September 9, 2020
The fawning did seem to pay off for Dobbs, who not only got ratings, but had the ear of the president himself, earning him trips to the White House to consult on policy. He reportedly sometimes spoke to the president multiple times a day to offer advice.