Put a little more plainly: Given the fine margins Trump is dealing with in his reelection campaign, Fox News could help sink him. Fox can lose some viewers and win the ratings wars; Trump basically cannot lose any supporters and win reelection. You could even make an argument that Trump needs Fox more than Fox needs Trump…

Let’s imagine Fox were to make a decision, whether conscious or unconscious, to flout Trump’s demands and run with more critical coverage — or even just give more of a platform to his critics. (That seems to be Trump’s most frequent gripe of late.) Trump’s base wouldn’t suddenly be chopped in half, but it could hurt him among people who aren’t so gung-ho about his presidency or who perhaps haven’t been exposed to as many Trump-critical topics. (In part, that’s because Fox hasn’t covered them as much.)

Trump’s apparent desire to steer viewers to a more sycophantic network isn’t as simple as it sounds. While One America News Network and Newsmax are carried by a growing number of operators, their programming isn’t anywhere close to or as advanced as competitors such as Fox. Fox is kind of the only big-time game in town for many Trump supporters, as evidenced by the fact that few select any other network as their most trusted. That means scaring them away from Fox may not lead them to a more favorable alternative.