With disclosure after disclosure of e-mails and text messages from Fox News executives, hosts, and journalists released over the last month as part of a Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit and Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) giving Tucker Carlson’s team access to January 6 surveillance, Fox News has been in the headlines and, sure enough, the liberal networks that want to see the network eradicated have spent nearly an hour obsessing over the two so-called scandals.
The MRC looked at the flagship morning, evening, and Sunday morning political talk shows of “the big three” networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC from the February 17 Dominion disclosure through March 10 and found the trio have wasted 57 minutes and 37 seconds being consumed with the happenings of a competitor. For reference, this was 27 times larger than the time they spent on the Twitter Files (two minutes and eight seconds).
Separate out the two stories and they’ve doled out 35 minutes and 28 seconds tut-tutting on FNC’s supposed grave and 18 minutes and 57 seconds smearing Carlson for “press[ing] a series of phony claims” and “spinning a false narrative.”
CBS was well out in front with 23 minutes and 13 seconds across the CBS Evening News, CBS Mornings, and Face the Nation. ABC was second with 18 minutes and 37 seconds on Good Morning America, This Week, and World News Tonight, and then 15 minutes and 47 seconds for Meet the Press, NBC Nightly News, and Today.
“Back here at home to a case involving cable news commentators. Their remarks may have influenced how millions of Americans perceived the results of the 2020 presidential election,” said fill-in NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Llamas on February 17, adding a Dominion filing created a “new focus on what some of Fox News' biggest names were saying about it off camera.”
Two days later, on Meet the Press, moderator Chuck Todd lamented to former Governor Larry Hogan (R-MD) that Fox, as the “town square for conservatives,” writ large “refuse[d] to tell the truth to their viewers” about the election.
And after another series of documents went live, CBS correspondent Jericka Duncan boasted on the February 28 CBS Mornings that “[a]ccording to Dominion Voting Systems, the steady drumbeat on Fox News that the 2020 election was stolen and the evidence was contrary amounted to defamation.”
Late on March 6, there was another document dump on the Dominion suit and the first night of Carlson airing January 6 footage on that touched on figures such as the late Brian Sicknick, the Q-Shaman, and Ray Epps. So, on March 7, the networks behind scandals such as fake Food Lion employees, exploding Ford trucks, and Dan Rather decided Fox had to be a major focus with all rhetorical torpedoes aimed in their direction.
Socialist CBS Mornings co-host Tony Dokoupil had a CNN-like smugness in delivering the news:
A bit of a fact-check this morning after Fox News host Tucker Carlson aired previously unseen video of the assault of the Capitol on his show last night. What Carlson did is use selective clips from surveillance tapes...to claim — falsely — that journalists and lawmakers lied about the January 6th attack.
CBS’s ever-obsessed January 6 correspondent Scott MacFarlane said Carlson’s entire show was filled “limited, edited footage” (which is what the entire journalism profession does in a newscast) and “ignore[d] the tens of thousands of pages of court filings we've read and the tons of footage already released” and “the powerful and, at times, tearful” January 6 Committee hearings.
Co-host, Democratic donor, and Obama family friend Gayle King took a ride on her high horse:
It is astounding...Listen, it's okay if you want to show another side of the thing, but please put it all in context. Please don't ignore there was an insurrection that day that has been shown repeatedly over and over and over again. It's extremely upsetting...And think about how those police officers’ families still feel today.
Hours later on World News Tonight, longtime ABC correspondent Jonathan Karl huffed that McCarthy was “facing questions” for giving “Fox News access to some 44,000 hours of raw surveillance footage from January 6.”
And who would be the party/parties raising “questions” and pitching a fit? Adversarial media for their elected allies.
On March 8 and the night after Carlson focused on the failure of U.S. law enforcement to prepare for what turned out to be tens of thousands in and around the Capitol and the ensuing violence, NBC’s Today co-host Hoda Kotb touted “growing pushback...against Fox News Tucker Carlson and his portrayal of the January 6 insurrection.”
Because Carlson went after the liberal media’s celebrated January 6 Committee, correspondent Ryan Nobles said he “create[d] an alternate reality” and dared to “accus[e] the January 6 Select Committee” of “lying.”
CBS Mornings again had the most nauseatingly high-minded attitude. As such, they brought in chief political analyst John Dickerson (yes, this guy) for a lecture that, because of Carlson and the Dominion suit, Fox shouldn’t be trusted on any issue, including the border, crime, and the economy.
Most notably, King declared Fox News “isn’t a news organization” whose rhetoric is deadly and whined there’s “no repercussions” for Fox’s supposed misbehavior (click “expand,” emphasis added):
DICKERSON: What the Court filings show is that the incentives at Fox on the business side and the personality side were to give the audience what it wanted, not what was actually happening and what the people who worked at Fox knew what was happening on something very incendiary whether the 2020 election was stolen. Stakes couldn’t have been higher. They knew better. And yet, they told the audience what they wanted to hear. Gasoline was on the floor, and they said, well, let’s encourage people to discuss having matches.
DICKERSON: People can turn violent. So, let’s —
KING: People can die. People can lose their lives.
DICKERSON: — people can die.
KING: Does the audience not care that the people who are giving you the “facts,” don’t even believe what they’re telling you and know it not to be true.
DICKERSON: Well, that seems —
KING: This isn’t a news organization.
DICKERSON: — the important thing in the filing is that the people who are telling the audience what the audience wants to hear privately are saying that they know what they’re saying or what they’re allowing on their air to be said is not true. That’s the crucial thing about this, finally. You know, there’s a lot of mistrust in the way information has been conveyed to the American people over the history of American media. And Fox moved into that moment of distrust in its original conception, when there were people who were journalists there trying to inform people. That’s changed, we’ve now seen in these filings that the incentives are not to give people a fair understanding of the world, but that you give people what they want, and if you stray from that, as we saw in the Court filings about the news side of it, if you stray and tell them something that’s a little scratchy and at odds with what they want to hear, the news executives were saying, no, you’ve got to get back to telling them what they want to hear.
DOKOUPIL: Yes. Look, if you like and appreciate and cheer for everything you see on your news program, you’re doing the news wrong, right? You’re receiving it wrong as an audience member. You’ve got to look for that scratchy information if you want to be a citizen.
DICKERSON: And if it’s not -- if you’re not telling them the truth on the most vital high stakes thing, which is whether the election was stolen, take that now to every issue that people are hearing about immigration, about crime, and the economy, and everything else, if it is sorted through that, that leads to a situation where our politics is being informed by something that is broken.
KING: There are no repercussions.
As our boss Tim Graham said on Wednesday’s NewsBusters Podcast:
Something liberals did that the media like that they want to say historic is the Pelosi-picked panel on January 6. Is the January 6 riot historic? Yes, I think it is. Is the January 6 riot a horrible event that should never have happened? Yes. But wow, the mere fact of Speaker Kevin McCarthy giving video footage of the riot that day to Tucker Carlson is being treated as almost as bad as — a new riot. The media have absolutely no sense of perspective...The Republican counterpoint to the Pelosi-picked panel is this isn’t the biggest thing ever.
What the Carlson’s programs really prove is the left absolutely hates any attempt to underline or question the Pelosi-picked plot line...It was a really bad day and that should not be whitewashed, but it should be possible in a free society...to present an alternative vision and ask alternative questions.
And as he wrote in the blog for the podcast, “[t]hese programs were not a momentous rewrite of history. The clips were not epic. But the media have clearly oversold January 6.”
As for Dominion, Fox has said the lawsuit poses a genuine threat to free speech and the news media while Dominion argues Fox should pay a price for having aired false claims about their voting machines.
We know which side the liberal media are on in their quest to ensure Fox News ceases to exist and assert control over what Americans learn (and don’t learn) about the world around them.