Matt Gaetz's new podcast debuted Thursday, and he used his inaugural episode of Firebrand to go after a former GOP bigwig. Mediaite reports the Republican congressman from Florida used part of his time to lament how far Fox News, where he used to be a regular commentator, has fallen. "I appreciate the platform Fox News gave me for years," Gaetz said, noting that his time there "allowed me to get key information to the country." He then added that he still has friends at the network, but that it "isn't what it used to be." The reason, per Gaetz: "Probably has something to do with their corporate board member, Paul Ryan." Ryan, who served as the GOP speaker of the House under both Obama and Trump, stepped down from that role in early 2019 and joined the Fox board later that year.
Gaetz's main beef appeared to be the cancellation of Lou Dobbs' show on Fox earlier this year, something he appears to think Ryan had a hand in. "Sweet Lou, like America's angry uncle, politically incorrect sometimes, red in the face, and usually right about stuff," Gaetz extolled before playing a supercut of Dobbs ripping on Ryan, per Newsweek. "Now that Paul Ryan has concentrated power at Fox News, Lou Dobbs is no longer on air." In the end, Gaetz complained, Ryan didn't use his influence at the network to push Trump policies, but instead "was able to use his power ... to cancel the great Lou Dobbs. What a shame." Fox previously said plans had been "in place to launch new formats as appropriate postelection," and that dumping Dobbs was "part of those planned changes." (Mediaite notes that Gaetz's appearances on Fox became more scarce after it was reported he was under federal investigation for sex trafficking, a case that's still underway.)