Former Republican Rep. Tom Davis (VA) suggested that Fox News will make it difficult for Republicans to agree to a deal with Democrats that would allow some tax cuts for the wealthy to expire. Fox has reportedly been an obstacle to Republican attempts to compromise in the past as well.
A New York Times article described reasons why Republicans might resist tax rate hikes on the wealthy even though public opinion strongly favors such a policy. Among other reasons, the Times reported: "Reaction from the conservative news media poses another risk if Republicans compromise. 'How does Fox play this?' asked former Representative Tom Davis, a Virginia Republican and former chairman of his party's campaign committee."
Fox has indeed pushed against any deal that would increase taxes, pushing the canards that the wealthy would leave the country if taxes went up and that higher taxes on the wealthy would hurt small business.
This is not the first time that a Republican has pointed to Fox as a potential stumbling block to compromise. In 2010, The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza reported that Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) advocated in favor of climate change legislation early in the year, but warned the Democratic colleagues with whom he was working to "get as far as they could in negotiating the bill 'before Fox News got wind of the fact that this was a serious process.'"
Graham reportedly explained: "The second they focus on us, it's gonna be all cap-and-tax all the time, and it's gonna become just a disaster for me on the airwaves. We have to move this along as quickly as possible."
Graham later walked away from the climate bill efforts and said in June 2010 that he doesn't believe human-caused emissions "are contributing overwhelmingly to global climate change."