A new report of sexual assault committed by President Donald Trump became public Friday, and Fox News has devoted just four minutes to covering it.
On June 21, journalist and advice columnist E. Jean Carroll wrote in New York magazine’s The Cut that 23 years ago, Trump assaulted her in a department store dressing room. According to Carroll, Trump “lunge[d] at me, pushe[d] me against the wall, hitting my head quite badly, and [put] his mouth against my lips.” She wrote that he then pulled down her tights and assaulted her. Carroll told two close friends at the time, both of whom “still remember the incident clearly and confirmed their accounts to New York.”
According to a Media Matters review, Fox News has devoted just four minutes and six seconds to Carroll’s story, with over a quarter of that time devoted to airing Trump's response that he has "no idea who she is," despite a photo of the two of them together. Carroll’s allegations against Trump were mentioned twice on Friday (Special Report and Fox News at Night), twice on Saturday (America's News Headquarters and Fox Report with Jon Scott), and just once on Sunday (MediaBuzz). The story had dropped out of the network’s coverage by Monday.
Fox News isn’t the only Murdoch-owned entity downplaying the story. According to CNN, a “Murdoch lieutenant” -- a former top editor of the New York Post who returned to the paper as an adviser earlier this year -- had an article about Carroll removed from the tabloid’s website. “A wire story by the Associated Press which had been published on the Post's website was also removed,” CNN reported.
At least 19 other women have accused Trump of sexual assault or misconduct. But Carroll’s story initially received scant media attention: Major newspapers failed to put the explosive report on their front pages and the “big five” Sunday political talk shows also ignored the story.
Media Matters searched the SnapStream video database for any mentions of various spellings of Carroll as well as for variations of Jean from June 21 through noon on June 25. Re-airings of shows were not included.