Brian Kilmeade: Fox News and Breitbart Are Successful Because We Do Not Ignore ‘Flyover Country’
“Your audience is the same as our audience,” said Fox News Channel’s Brian Kilmeade on Wednesday, opining on the commonalities of appeal between the two news media outlets.
Kilmeade, co-host of Fox & Friends and bestselling author of Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny, made his remarks in a SiriusXM Breitbart News Tonight interview with Breitbart News’s Senior Editors-at-Large Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak.
Fox News and Breitbart, said Kilmeade, share a non-coastal audience while appealing to Middle America’s interests.
“Our audience are not in New York and Los Angeles,” said Kilmeade. “Our audience is in Middle America, the flyover country that’s been ignored. And the reason why Fox has been number one and Breitbart’s so successful is because we think those people matter. And they don’t care what Los Angeles or New York thinks about them. Just because we’re located here doesn’t mean that we worship the people around us, even though I grew up in New York and lived in Los Angeles.”
The interests of Americans in Middle America, said Kilmeade, are ignored by much of the news media. “These people are everyday people who don’t want a pat on the back, don’t want fame and fortune, don’t want a reality show, but they understand that America is counting on them to fuel our economy, and when politicians ignore them, they ignore politicians, until this billionaire comes by and says, ‘You matter,’ until this network starts and this radio network starts that says, ‘You care.’ And then, all of a sudden, they rise up and say, ‘Yeah, we outnumber the so-called elites.'”
Asked by Mansour about the importance of co-hosting a show watched by the president, Kilmeade reflected on the near decade-long relationship between Fox & Friends and Donald Trump.
A partial transcript is below:
MANSOUR: You are one of the most important media personalities, media reporters in the world right now because the president watches you and your co-hosts Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt every morning on Fox & Friends, and I can only imagine that’s a responsibility you take very seriously.
KILMEADE: Absolutely. We take it seriously, but it’s kinda odd because we were the ones who had him on for eight years prior. He would call into our show every Monday or Tuesday, and then even on Christmas, the contributors would join us, we’d take out the staff for Christmas, and he’s obviously a busy guy with his own tower, so he couldn’t just come over, so we started taking him out, thanking him for his contributions on Christmas, and next thing you know, he’s President of the United States. … It’s definitely flattering to know that he still watches.
Kilmeade explained the appeal of Fox & Friends to Trump, describing Fox News Channel’s morning show as uniquely giving the president “a legitimate and fair show” relative to competing morning news programs. “If you flip around, you understand why he watches us. We’re the only ones who give him a legitimate and fair shot. We’ll call him out when we think things are out of control. You know, if those things were said behind closed doors, I think that’s ridiculous, from last Thursday. But I’m not going to pretend that’s the number one story in America, every day. We don’t get up every day and wonder if he’s really 239 pounds. We’re not gonna spend two blocks talking about how he has to lose 15 pounds and ask if his doctor’s competent. So that makes us the only option for him.”
Fox News Channel’s broader appeal, said Kilmeade, was rooted in the genuineness of its personalities. “The thing they do when they hire people at Fox, they basically hire people to have their own personality, and that’s what you bring to the show or to the network. If you don’t like a Fox anchor on camera, you’re not gonna like him off. They’re known to be the same people, and I think that’s why Fox has been successful. You get to know everybody because you’re told not to be Ted Baxter; don’t put on the radio voice or the television voice; be yourself.”
Pollak described Kilmeade as “one of the most important broadcasters in the world,” given the president’s status as “a big fan” of Fox & Friends.
Breitbart News Tonight airs Monday through Friday on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel 125 from 9:00 p.m. to midnight Eastern (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pacific).
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.