American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp, who is currently facing a multi-million dollar sexual battery and defamation lawsuit for allegedly groping a GOP strategist, suggested with a straight face on Thursday that his ubiquitous Fox News appearances dried up because the network became too “woke.”
During a Newsmax panel discussion on Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch stepping down, Schlapp wove a far-fetched narrative that his particular brand of MAGA conservatism had become unwelcome in recent years because Murdoch had steered the conservative cable giant to the left.
“This is really amazing news. Fox News has played a critical role in championing conservative causes for a very long time,” he noted. “I was on Fox practically every day for years and years and years.”
He continued: “And then something happened in the country: the BLM riots happened, the virus happened, and then this crazy presidential election with all this voter fraud happened. And Fox seemed to want to be at war with its viewers and people who have opinions and voices like me.[It] became a less hospitable place.”
Noting that Murdoch’s son Lachlan has been tapped to take over the media empire, Schlapp wondered if the new chairman would “recapture the spirit of the early years of Fox” or if the network is “going to continue down the ‘woke’ road.” In the embattled right-wing activist’s telling, this wokeness included firing primetime host Tucker Carlson and “getting rid of conservative voices” like himself.
Unsaid in Schlapp’s mini-rant, though, was the real reason why he is no longer booked on Fox News.
The chief organizer of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) has been relegated to Newsmax and other fringe right-wing media after he was accused in January of “aggressively fondling” the crotch of former Herschel Walker staffer Carlton Huffman. Calling Schlapp a “sexual predator,” Huffman later sued the conservative icon over his “repeated unsolicited and undesired advances,” as well as his attempts to “impugn” Huffman’s character.
While Schlapp has vehemently denied the GOP operative’s accusation, The Daily Beast reported last month that the CPAC chief made an offer to settle with Huffman, only to be rebuffed. Furthermore, the ACU has been informed about additional allegations of sexual misconduct against Schlapp, prompting a senior board member to resign and call for an investigation into the incidents. On top of that, other officials have also quit over concerns that Schlapp used the group to fund his sexual assault lawsuit.
Following the allegations, Schlapp has essentially been barred from Fox News airwaves. Neither he nor his wife Mercedes, a former Fox News contributor and Trump administration official, have appeared on the network since January. Besides shutting out the Schlapps, Fox News all but ignored this year’s CPAC, despite the symbiotic relationship the confab enjoyed with the right-wing network in years past.
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