Fox News officially announced on Tuesday that it has hired former Trump spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany as a contributor.
“It is my distinct pleasure today to welcome Kayleigh Mcenany to the Fox family,” anchor Harris Faulkner said Tuesday morning after wrapping an on-air interview with the former Trump flack. “We will be seeing much more of her in the future.”
Fox News did not respond when asked for comment.
The addition of a known and frequent liar to the Fox News roster set off some alarms within a newsroom that has been “purged” in recent months in favor of right-wing opinion programming and content geared towards keeping a diehard MAGA audience satisfied.
“It’s truly disgusting they fired hard-working journalists who did care about facts and news reporting only to turn around and hire a mini-Goebbels whose incessant lies from the White House helped incite an insurrection on our democracy that got five people killed, including a police officer,” a Fox News insider raged to The Daily Beast. “Post-Trump Fox is quickly becoming a very scary place and quite dangerous for our democracy. It’s not even conservative news anymore. They’ve plunged into an alternate reality where extremist propaganda is the only course on the menu.”
The official announcement came weeks after it was reported that McEnany had been in talks to join Fox News immediately after leaving the Trump administration.
In her last public financial disclosure report, filed in late January, McEnany reportedly claimed she’d entered into an “employment agreement with Fox News.” According to the network at that time, however, “there was a deal being negotiated but was put on pause,” adding that they would be open to still hiring her because Fox “doesn’t condone cancel culture.”
“It’s upsetting,” a current Fox News staffer lamented to The Daily Beast. “So many good people are out of a job now and I’m sure she’ll get a huge contract.” But the hiring makes sense, this employee said, because “Sarah Sanders just left to run for governor of Arkansas and our audience loves Kayleigh.”
Another newsroom staffer said of McEnany’s hiring: “It bothers me in that it is basically a slap in the face to the hardworking journalists that value real news and facts. But it also doesn’t surprise me because they have shown that they don’t give a damn about facts and real news.”
A third Fox News employee further railed against the hiring, saying, “There is no objectivity in this business anymore. It’s a self-serving profiteering enterprise.” McEnany clearly appeals to Fox, this staffer said, because of “name recognition, notoriety, an obvious willingness to say anything her employer desires. The viewers are morons.”
McEnany has long been a fixture at Fox News. She began her media career working on Mike Huckabee’s Fox show and made regular appearances on late-night show Red Eye before becoming a fact-deficient pro-Trump pundit on CNN and eventually making her way onto his White House team.
Immediately following Trump’s decisive election loss to President Joe Biden, McEnany was a near-nightly presence on top-rated host Sean Hannity’s primetime program, infamously waving around reams of papers in an effort to promote the president’s “Big Lie” that the election was “stolen” from him due to widespread voter fraud that did not exist. She at one point, for instance, said Trump only had a “one in quadrillion chance” of losing to Biden, repeating a debunked and wholly false argument from the ex-president’s legal team.
The Trump flack’s hiring comes amid Fox’s attempt to win back MAGA viewers that ditched the network following Trump’s election loss. After the network’s decision desk made an early (and correct) Election Night projection that Biden won Arizona, disgruntled Trump fans ditched the channel for other, more Trump-devoted outlets like Newsmax. (Fox’s ratings have recovered somewhat in recent weeks, with the network recently winning in primetime.)
In the wake of struggling ratings, which saw the network finish in third place for the first time in 20 years, Fox revamped its daytime lineup and expanded its right-wing opinion programming, adding new conservative opinion shows at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. The network has also pushed its so-called “hard news” programs to focus more of its coverage on its primetime opinion hosts’ commentary and conservative culture-war topics of the day.
“The channel is trying not to lose even more viewers,” one of the Fox News staffer noted. “They are grasping at straws on how to keep the viewership they built and fueled over the last four plus years with Trump at the forefront.
“It has become about keeping viewers and they will do anything to do that, including blatantly lying and selling their souls and integrity to the devil.”
Diana Falzone was an on-camera and digital reporter for FoxNews.com from 2012 to 2018. In May 2017, she filed a gender discrimination and disability lawsuit against the network and settled, and left the company in March 2018.