Fox News will no longer run an ad from billionaire Tom Steyer calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment.
“Due to the strong negative reaction to their ad by our viewers, we could not in good conscience take their money,” said Fox News co-president Jack Abernethy in a statement obtained by TheWrap on Monday.
According to Steyer, a prominent Democratic donor and Trump critic, the network abruptly and unfairly pulled the ad on October 31.
The TV spot is part of Steyet’s campaign to pressure Congress to file articles of impeachment against Trump.
“I’m funding this effort to raise our voices together and demand that elected officials take a stand on impeachment,” said a grave Steyer looking directly into the camera.”A Republican Congress once impeached a president for far less, yet today people in Congress and his own administration know that this president is a clear and present danger who’s mentally unstable and armed with nuclear weapons.”
The ad included a link to Steyer’s website, NeedToImpeach.com — just in case anybody was still unsure.
In a trollish flourish, Steyer not only bought airtime on Fox News but specifically on “Fox & Friends” to ensure that Donald Trump — a regular viewer of the program — would see it.
The strategy worked, with Trump issuing a denunciation less than an hour after watching the commercial on Oct. 27.
Wacky & totally unhinged Tom Steyer, who has been fighting me and my Make America Great Again agenda from beginning, never wins elections!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 27, 2017
In a lawyer’s letter to Abernethy, team Steyer accused Fox News of bowing to Trump’s criticism.
“It is no coincidence that the Cancellation of the Advertisement, in the second week of its run came on the heels of a tweet from President Trump, criticizing the spot and Mr. Steyer personally,” said Steyer counsel Brad Deutsch. “The only possible explanation seems to be that Fox News capitulated to political pressure from the Trump administration itself. President Trump has threatened retaliation against broadcasters who provide him with negative coverage and Fox News appears to have answered these threats with servility.”
Representatives for Steyer did not immediately return request for comment from TheWrap.