- As news broke on Tuesday that two of President Donald Trump’s former top aides were convicted of multiple federal crimes, Fox News focused its coverage on the death of a 20-year-old college student.
- Critics lambasted the right-leaning network for minimising coverage of the convictions of the former aides, Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen.
As news broke on Tuesday that two of President Donald Trump’s former top aides were convicted of multiple federal crimes, the president’s preferred news outlet, Fox News, reported more prominently on the killing of a 20-year-old college student.
Rather than focusing on what is perhaps the most significant news of Trump’s presidency so far, the right-leaning network’s hosts discussed the news that police charged an undocumented immigrant with murder in the death of Mollie Tibbetts. Authorities found what they believe to be the body of the young Iowa woman on Tuesday.
Also on Tuesday, Michael Cohen, the president’s longtime fixer,struck a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to eight charges of breaking banking, tax, and campaign-finance laws, while Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman, was found guilty of eight counts related to tax and bank fraud following a high-stakes criminal trial.
During Fox’s afternoon show “The Five,” cohost Dana Perino, a former staffer in President George W. Bush’s White House, suggested that Americans were more concerned with dangers posed by undocumented immigrants than with crimes committed by members of the president’s inner circle.
And Fox’s homepage continued throughout the day to feature the story about Tibbetts above those about the convictions of Cohen and Manafort, even as the network’s broadcasters turned their attention to the stories dominating the evening.
In response to this story, a Fox representative said in a statement to Business Insider, “Last time we checked, Business Insider is not our assignment editor.”
Critics, including journalists, jumped on Fox for what they said was minimising the major news concerning the president in favour of a crime story that plays into the president’s war on undocumented immigrants.
“Tonight you’re going to see one of those media moments where several networks cover the news, and Fox dedicates 80% of their airtime to a local crime story,” said Rick Wilson, a Republican political consultant.
So Manafort found guilty, Cohen pleads guilty, Trump implicated in ordering Cohen to make illegal campaign contributions and @FoxNews is discussing an illegal immigrant being charged in a murder.
— mark seibel (@markseibel) August 21, 2018
CNN & MSNBC covering a huge story right now: The President's longtime personal attorney pleading guilty to campaign finance violations, tax & bank fraud.
Fox News? A plane carrying @PostMalone making an emergency landing.
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) August 21, 2018
Fox News is not covering Manafort/Cohen implicating Trump right now. They're covering the Mollie Tibbets news conference
— Emily C. Singer (@CahnEmily) August 21, 2018
LMAO @FoxNews, you are State TV.
What a disgusting propaganda outlet. pic.twitter.com/GLH4fNfb9t
— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) August 21, 2018
Dana Perino just suggested on Fox News that the Mueller and Cohen thing is complicated, but most Americans are concerned about illegal immigrants and murder(?).
— David Jolly (@DavidJollyFL) August 21, 2018
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