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Lis Power

Author ››› Lis Power
  • Fox News has barely covered the illegal plea deal Labor Secretary Alex Acosta gave to Jeffrey Epstein 

    Fox hosted Alan Dershowitz, who helped craft the deal, and didn’t even bring it up

    Blog ››› ››› LIS POWER

    Media Matters / Melissa Joskow

    A federal judge ruled Thursday that Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta was part of a team of prosecutors who violated federal law by concealing a plea agreement from victims who had been sexually abused by New York hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein. In any other administration this would be a major media story, but in the Trump administration it’s just another blip on the radar, especially on Fox News, which has devoted less than 4 minutes of coverage to this development.

    The ruling comes a few months after the Miami Herald published a three-part investigation titled “How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime.” The series described how “federal prosecutors [including Acosta] collaborated with Epstein’s lawyers to arrange the deal, then hid it from his victims and the public so that no one would know the full scope of Epstein’s crimes and who else was involved.” Among Epstein’s lawyers were frequent Fox News guests Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr. Thursday’s ruling found that the “federal prosecutors, under former Miami U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta, broke the law when they concealed” that deal, a violation of the Crime Victims' Rights Act.

    Fox News has covered the judge’s finding that Acosta violated the law for just 3 minutes and 44 seconds, with quick mentions on Special Report and Fox News at Night, and a report on The Daily Briefing. Perhaps even more egregious is the fact that Fox hosted Dershowitz (who helped create the plea deal) last night, and host Laura Ingraham conveniently didn’t ask him about the case.

    While CNN’s and MSNBC’s coverage has been slightly more muted than what one might expect for a story of this caliber, both networks did more than Fox, particularly MSNBC. CNN devoted 15 minutes to the story while MSNBC spent 58 minutes covering the developments. CNN and MSNBC had multiple reports on the developments as well as panel discussions. CNN’s Jessica Schneider noted in her coverage that Epstein is “politically connected and he does count Donald Trump among his contacts.”

    Fox News has a history of ignoring stories that reflect poorly on Trump and his administration; it seems the network is also willing to give Acosta a pass for his role in illegally helping a serial child abuser get off as easily as possible.

    MethodologyMedia Matters searched the SnapStream video database for any mentions of "Epstein," "Acosta," "Jeffrey," or "Labor" from February 21 through 3 p.m. on​ February 22. 

  • Fox News fearmongered about a migrant caravan for 26 straight days in the run-up to Trump's State of the Union

    As Trump tries to paint a picture of an immigration “crisis,” Fox News devoted 7 hours of coverage to a migrant caravan

    Blog ››› ››› LIS POWER

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Before the 2018 midterm elections, Fox News and President Donald Trump went all in on fearmongering about the supposed threat of a migrant caravan approaching the U.S. southern border. Recently, as Trump was demanding funding for a border wall, warning of an immigration “crisis,” and threatening to declare a national emergency, Fox News tried the same gambit again.

    Fox News’ coverage of the latest caravan started days before the migrants even began their journey. From January 10 up until the State of the Union address on February 5, Fox News devoted over seven hours of coverage to the caravan that was moving toward the U.S. The network sent multiple correspondents to Central America and Mexico to report on it, with correspondent Griff Jenkins spending at least 14 days embedded with the migrants. In that time, Jenkins participated in at least 80 Fox segments on the topic.

    Fox’s coverage ramped up on January 15, the day the caravan started its trek from Honduras, and continued for nearly a week before dropping off. Coverage rose sharply again on January 30 and remained high through February 5, the same day that Trump delivered the State of the Union address and the migrant caravan arrived near the U.S.-Mexico border.

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Not a day went by that Fox News didn’t at least mention the caravan. Fox & Friends, the network’s morning show, covered it the most, spending just over two hours discussing the caravan between January 10 and February 5. The caravan was mentioned in 17 of the show’s 19 episodes during the time frame examined by Media Matters.

    While Fox’s previous caravan panic was used as a (failed) push for Republican voters ahead of the midterms, the network’s current caravan fixation is being used to justify Trump’s border wall obsession. To Fox, the latest migrant caravan is an example of “a crisis” that proves Trump needs a border wall, and it even provides a justification for Trump to potentially declare a national emergency. The network has also used news stories from the caravan to fearmonger about gang members, murderers, and rapists coming into the country.

    In comparison, CNN and MSNBC have largely ignored this caravan. Most of CNN’s and MSNBC’s mentions of the caravan in this time frame have been used to criticize Trump’s midterm caravan ruse, fact-check his immigration rhetoric, and note that all his fearmongering about caravans has amounted to nothing. CNN has also pointed out that Trump’s fixation on the caravan tends to stem from Fox News’ coverage.

    Just today, Fox News teased "new video emerging of another caravan forming." This will never end. 


    Media Matters searched SnapStream for any mention of “caravan,” “Mexico,” “migrants,” “illegals,” “Guatemala,” or “Honduras” on Fox News between the hours of 4 a.m. and midnight starting January 10 and ending February 5 with the State of the Union. If a teaser, passing mention, or discussion was specifically about the caravan, we included it. Shows that re-aired during the hours of the study weren’t included in the results. Live video of Trump discussing the caravan also wasn’t included.

  • Fox & Friends discussed a razor ad 24 times more than it discussed Steve King this morning

    The show’s transcript has the word “King” 10 times; 7 of those referred to Burger King

    Blog ››› ››› LIS POWER

    The day after Rep. Steve King (R-IA) was stripped of his committee assignments due to comments in which he embraced white supremacy, Fox & Friends spent just 30 seconds on the story. In comparison, the show found over 12 minutes to devote to discussing (and criticizing) a new Gillette advertisement.

    A search of Fox & Friends’ transcript showed 10 hits for the word “King.” But seven of those mentions were references to Burger King. (Trump served fast food, including Burger King, to the Clemson football team during the players’ visit to the White House yesterday. The show repeatedly aired clips of Trump talking about the fast food chain, and the hosts also enjoyed some fast food themselves.)

    When it came to coverage of Steve King, the show aired only one 30-second headline read.

    In comparison, Fox & Friends found over 12 minutes to discuss a new Gillette commercial. Co-host Brian Kilmeade complained that the ad was like "showing a man breaking into a house, knocking over the furniture, stealing the money out of the safe, and saying, 'Let's stop this bad behavior; buy my razor.’ So let’s point out all the bad things that you might say about men, put them into an ad, make men feel horrible, and then say, ‘Overpay for a razor.’” During a panel discussion about the ad, Fox Business host Charles Payne argued it was a “form of corporate virtue signaling.” Later in the show, the hosts asked New Orleans Saints player Benjamin Watson what he thought about the ad.

    Meanwhile, Gillette's parent company, Proctor & Gamble, has been under fire for being one of the last remaining major sponsors of Tucker Carlson's show.

  • Rep. Rashida Tlaib cursing got 5 times more coverage on cable news than Rep. Steve King embracing white supremacy


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    When it comes to a congresswoman cursing versus a congressman embracing white supremacy, cable news apparently believes the cursing deserves more coverage -- five times more coverage, to be exact.

    On January 4, the day after Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) referred to President Donald Trump by saying “Impeach the motherfucker” during a reception with supporters, cable news outlets (CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC) spent over two and a half hours discussing the topic. In comparison, in the roughly 24 hours following the publication of Rep. Steve King's (R-IA) comments in The New York Times that showed him embracing white supremacy, cable news devoted just under 30 minutes of coverage to the congressman’s racism.

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    The discrepancy was the most glaring on Fox News, which devoted 52 minutes of coverage to Tlaib’s cursing and just 42 seconds to King’s comments about white supremacy. That’s over 74 times more coverage of Tlaib. Fox’s sole segment about King was framed as “Republican Congressman Steve King is fighting back against a New York Times article.”

    CNN’s and MSNBC’s coverage was also skewed, though not nearly as much. CNN covered Tlaib’s comments for nearly an hour and five minutes while covering King’s comments for just about 15 minutes. MSNBC covered Tlaib cursing for the least amount of time, nearly 38 minutes, and covered King’s embrace of white supremacy for just over 14 minutes.

    It isn't just the amount of coverage that shows a clear difference in how these stories were covered. The day after Tlaib cursed, congressional Democrats appearing on cable news were consistently asked for their response to her comment. While some Republicans have issued condemnations of King, cable news doesn’t have the same urgency in asking elected Republicans to respond to King’s comments.  

    The imbalance in coverage between these stories raises serious questions about just what stories cable news considers newsworthy and whether there’s a double standard in coverage of Democrats versus Republicans.   


    Media Matters reviewed transcripts in the video-streaming service SnapStream for mentions of “Steve King” from 8 a.m. January 10 to 9 a.m. January 11, 2019, (publication of the Times article seems to have occurred during the 8 a.m. hour, and researchers searched for comments about King through 9 a.m. the following day to cover the entirety of the morning shows) and for mentions of “Rashida” or “impeach” or spelling variations of “Tlaib” (including the common misspelling “Talib”) for all-day coverage on January 4, 2019, on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. Only speech specifically about Steve King’s comments questioning why white nationalism and white supremacy are “offensive” and speech specifically about Rashida Tlaib’s impeach-Trump comment at a event were timed.

  • Republican Rep. Steve King embraced white supremacy, and the media had no idea how to cover it

    Blog ››› ››› LIS POWER

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    In an interview with The New York Times published Thursday morning, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” TV news coverage of his remark that day was incredibly muted and often shied away from explicitly calling the comment racist; one show’s tweet merely called it “controversial.”

    • Fox News devoted a total of 42 seconds to the story the day King’s comments were published. The sole segment, which was on Special Report with Bret Baier, was framed as “Republican Congressman Steve King is fighting back against a New York Times article,” referring to a statement King released after the piece came out.
    • NBC News interviewed King about his comments and devoted a full segment to him during NBC Nightly News. But one of the show’s tweets about the interview simply labeled the comment “controversial,” adding that “some people are calling [it] racist.”
    • CBS Evening News and ABC World News Tonight did not mention King.
    • CNN ultimately covered King’s comment the most out of all the cable news networks on January 10 (nearly 11 ½ minutes). But the network didn’t mention King until after 9:30 p.m.
    • MSNBC, which was the first cable network to report on King’s comment, discussed the congressman for just over seven and a half minutes on January 10. During MTP Daily, which was the first cable news show to mention King, the conversation was largely framed around horse race politics and what this would mean for King’s re-election chances rather than the substance of what he said. The show didn’t even mention what King had said until nearly the end of the segment.

    Update (1/13/19): The Sunday following King’s comments, only three of the five major Sunday political shows addressed the remarks: ABC’s This Week, CBS’ Face the Nation, and NBC’s Meet the Press. The anchors of those three shows each asked one congressional Republican guest about the comments in interviews, and CBS’ Margaret Brennan also discussed the comments with her panel later in the show. CNN’s State of the Union and Fox Broadcasting’s Fox News Sunday did not mention King’s comments at all.

  • MSNBC's and CNN's focus on Romney's Trump op-ed shows how little the media has learned

    In a 6-hour period, CNN and MSNBC each spent nearly an hour discussing the op-ed

    Blog ››› ››› LIS POWER & ROB SAVILLO

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    CNN and MSNBC spent a large portion of the first non-holiday day of 2019 talking about … Sen.-elect Mitt Romney (R-UT). Between 6 a.m. and noon on January 2, CNN and MSNBC each spent nearly an hour discussing Romney’s Washington Post op-ed criticizing President Donald Trump's character, while Fox News spent about 25 minutes on the subject. For those hoping the media would focus on the important issues facing Americans in 2019, the oversaturation of Romney coverage shows that getting their priorities straight might be a bigger hurdle for cable news than they expected.

    On January 1, the Post published an anti-Trump op-ed in which Romney noted that “on balance, [Trump’s] conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions last month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office.”

    The cable morning news shows -- on CNN and MSNBC especially -- were quick to jump on the topic the following day. CNN’s New Day and MSNBC’s Morning Joe each spent just over half an hour discussing Romney’s op-ed -- one-sixth of their total three-hour airtime (without even accounting for commercial breaks). Fox & Friends spent 12 minutes on the topic.


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    In total, CNN spent roughly 57 minutes discussing Romney’s op-ed, MSNBC spent almost 51 minutes, and Fox News spent approximately 25 minutes on the topic during the six-hour period Media Matters examined.

    That is an exceeding amount of coverage for an op-ed from an incoming senator, even when that senator is Mitt Romney. This isn’t to say that the op-ed isn’t newsworthy at all, but given that Romney and Trump have been squabbling back and forth for years, it’s not particularly notable. And if Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) is any indication, being a Republican senator critical of Trump oftentimes amounts to a lot of talk and no action. As 2019 begins and coverage ramps up for the 2020 presidential election, it’s important that cable news re-examines its priorities and focuses on the issues and policy topics that matter to Americans -- not the insults and meaningless fights between politicians vying for their attention.

  • Ann Coulter went on Fox News and called for migrants to be shot. Here’s the headline Fox went with.

    Blog ››› ››› LIS POWER

    Conservative commentator Ann Coulter urged President Donald Trump to allow soldiers to shoot people at the border or, alternatively, invade Mexico during an appearance on Fox News’ Justice with Judge Jeanine on November 24. Despite Coulter’s outrageous comments, Fox News headlined the show’s transcript on its website “Coulter urges Trump to follow through on tough border talk.”

    During the show, Coulter argued that U.S. soldiers "can shoot invaders," adding that if they couldn't shoot them in the United States they could "go one yard into Mexico." When host Jeanine Pirro pushed back, stating, “Ann, we can’t invade Mexico. … We certainly can’t cross the border to shoot them up over there,” Coulter responded, “Reagan invaded Grenada, and Grenada was far less of a threat to Americans.” She also stated that even if judges would try to prevent Trump from allowing soldiers to shoot at migrants or invade Mexico, “that’s not a reason not to try it.”

    To summarize: Coulter called for shooting migrants or invading Mexico, and Fox News thought the best description for those comments was “Coulter urges Trump to follow through on tough border talk.”

    Here’s the transcript:

    JEANINE PIRRO (HOST): You know what the legal requirement is, [the] Posse Comitatus [Act]. I mean, he is doing everything he can ...

    ANN COULTER (CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR): That you can’t shoot Americans --

    PIRRO: ... to back it up. What?

    COULTER: Number one, you can't shoot Americans; you can shoot invaders. Number two, even if that were true, OK, go in one yard into Mexico. What is happening on our border is certainly --

    PIRRO: So we should invade Mexico?

    COULTER: -- a bigger crisis for Americans than Grenada was.

    PIRRO: Ann, we can’t invade Mexico to stop them from coming in here. I mean, we're doing the same thing unless Mexico gives us that authority. If you recall, even in Benghazi they said, "We didn't get permission from Libya to go in and protect our men." We certainly can’t cross the border to shoot them up over there, I mean, if that's what you're talking about -- to send the military there.

    COULTER: We invaded -- Reagan invaded Grenada, and Grenada was far less of a threat to Americans than what’s happening on our border and I am saying, I don't think the Posse Comitatus Act -- I mean, Nazis have been arrested by our troops, when they landed in the Hamptons no less, with guns.

    PIRRO: Right, because they were, because --

    COULTER: Our troops had guns. He is the commander-in-chief. This is what he should be doing, and as for the omnibus bill and [Speaker of the House Paul] Ryan --

    PIRRO: And he has got to follow the laws because there are federal judges all over this country who will stop him in his tracks. Final word, Ann, real fast.

    COULTER: Well, I don't think so. I don't think so.

    PIRRO: I've been watching the news.

    COULTER: Most of the property in Texas -- so they'll bring a lawsuit, but they will lose.

    PIRRO: Yes, ultimately.

    COULTER: And that's not a reason not to try it.

  • STUDY: Over the past 3 months, guest panels on Sunday shows have been overwhelmingly conservative

    Blog ››› ››› LIS POWER & GABBY MILLER

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Over the past three months, right-leaning guest panels on the five major Sunday political news shows have outnumbered left-leaning panels 33 to six. Nearly half of all guest panels titled right, meaning they had more right-leaning than left-leaning guests; by comparison, less than 10 percent of the panels tilted left. Forty-three percent of the panels were ideologically balanced.

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    By a wide margin, the show with the most imbalanced panels overall was NBC’s Meet the Press, where 85 percent of all panels tilted right. In total, 11 of the show’s 13 panels leaned conservative, while none of the panels leaned left. Two panels were ideologically balanced.

    Panels on Fox News Sunday were the second most conservative leaning, with 62 percent tilting right. In total, eight panels were right-leaning, while just two panels were left-leaning. Three panels were ideologically balanced.

    On CBS’ Face the Nation, conservative panels outnumbered left-leaning panels by a ratio of 2-to-1. Six panels tilted right, three panels tilted left, and four panels were ideologically neutral.

    On ABC’s This Week, 40 percent of panels were right-leaning while there wasn’t a single left-leaning panel. Overall, six panels tilted right, no panel tilted left, and nine panels were ideologically balanced.

    On CNN’s State of the Union, 79 percent of panels were ideologically balanced. Two panels tilted right, one panel titled left, and 11 panels were ideologically balanced.

    In total, across all five shows, 33 panels tilted right while just six panels tilted left. Twenty-nine panels were ideologically balanced.

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Previous Media Matters studies show that Sunday shows have favored conservative guests for years, regardless of whether a Republican or a Democrat was in the White House.


    We reviewed every edition of ABC's This Week, CBS' Face the Nation, NBC's Meet the Press, Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, and CNN's State of the Union from August 5 through October 28. We coded guest appearances for all five programs for political ideology, labeling the guests as Democratic/progressive, Republican/conservative, or neutral. We classified guests based on either their own ideological self-identification or their public affiliation with an openly partisan or ideological organization or institution. The neutral category does not necessarily imply strict ideological neutrality but, rather, might be better understood as neutral/centrist/nonpartisan -- we use the term "neutral" for the sake of brevity.

    We coded panels as tilting left when a majority of participants were Democratic or progressive; we coded panels as tilting right when a majority of participants were Republican or conservative; and we coded panels as balanced when Democratic and progressive guests numbered equally with Republican and conservative guests. Neutral guests did not affect a panel's tilt. A panel was defined as a group of multiple guests appearing on a show simultaneously, with the exception of 1) debates between political figures, 2) joint interviews, which we defined as a newsmaker interview with two or more guests where the guests have a tangible connection or are being interviewed with the express purpose of sharing similar viewpoints, and 3) focus groups with voters.

  • STUDY: Caravan coverage has taken over the news cycle. That’s exactly what Fox News and Trump wanted.

    Fox News coverage led to Trump tweets, which in turn made Fox’s pet issue a major story across CNN and MSNBC

    Blog ››› ››› LIS POWER

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    With midterm elections just 14 days away, you might not think that a group of migrants more than 1,000 miles away from the nearest U.S. border would be a leading story across all three cable news networks. You would be wrong.

    What started out as one of Fox News’ pet issues has become a major media narrative thanks to the feedback loop between the network and President Donald Trump. CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC spent a combined 15 hours covering the migrant caravan between Monday, October 15, and Sunday, October 21. Fox News led the charge, covering the story both first and the most -- for nearly eight hours. In the same week-long period, CNN covered the issue for four and a half hours, while MSNBC devoted two and a half hours to the migrant caravan. While the tone of the coverage varied among the networks, one thing is clear across all three: Their priorities just two weeks out from midterms elections are skewed.

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Fox had spent 20 minutes over the mornings of October 15 and 16 talking about the migrant caravan before Trump first tweeted a threat to take aid away from Honduras if the caravan wasn’t stopped. He tweeted a similar message Tuesday night. Trump’s tweets -- which were undoubtedly spurred by Fox News’ coverage of the caravan -- are what first gave this issue life on CNN and MSNBC. CNN’s and MSNBC’s first mentions of the migrants occurred Tuesday night, when a host on each network reacted to Trump’s tweets about cutting aid.

    By Wednesday, October 17, Trump was already trying to use the caravan to try to benefit Republicans. In a tweet that morning, the president called the caravan a “Great Midterm issue for Republicans!” Wednesday night, Newt Gingrich appeared on Fox News and stated, “I think two words are going to define the night of the 2018 election in the next three weeks. One is Kavanaugh and the other is caravan,” referring to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Trump picked right up on that talking point, echoing it at a rally the next day in Montana, after falsely tweeting that there are “MANY CRIMINALS” in the group of migrants and threatening to use the military to “CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!” As the days passed, Trump continued to tweet misspelled lies about the caravan creating “a National Emergy” and somehow blamed Democrats for the issue even though Republicans have control of all three branches of the federal government.

    As Trump’s focus on the caravan ramped up, so did the networks’ coverage:

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Not only did Fox News successfully spur coverage of the caravan across the other networks by getting Trump to tweet about it, but it also managed to frame the conversation around the midterms. MSNBC repeatedly aired clips of Gingrich’s “Kavanaugh” and “caravan” comments to drive conversation about immigration and the midterms.

    While all the networks overplayed coverage of the caravan, their tones varied. CNN and MSNBC were more likely to highlight Trump’s lies and fear tactics, as well as the plight of the migrants, while more often than not Fox’s coverage was aimed at stoking fear. Nonetheless, the sheer amount of time devoted to the topic across all three networks is disproportionate, creating the false impression of a real crisis.

    The wall-to-wall coverage is reminiscent of the networks’ treatment of the federal government response to Ebola in 2014. Shortly before that year’s midterm elections, Republicans settled on a strategy of using the diagnosis of Ebola in a handful of U.S. patients to inflame fears about the Obama administration’s management of the disease. Television media played into the GOP’s hands, running nearly 1,000 frequently alarmist segments about the virus in the four weeks before the election.

    Instead of focusing on issues more pertinent to the currently impending election -- like health care or voter suppression -- cable networks have fallen for a disingenuous trap created by Fox News and the president that plays right into the GOP’s hands. 


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    On Monday, October 22, coverage of the group of migrants rocketed up with a combined six and a half hours across CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. Once again, Fox News had the most coverage, with over three hours of programming devoted to the caravan. CNN was close behind with nearly two and a half hours of coverage, and MSNBC had just over an hour. 

    Coverage continued to tick up on Tuesday, October 23, with the networks devoting over seven hours to the group of migrants. Fox News spent nearly four hours, CNN spent over two hours, and MSNBC spent nearly an hour and a half covering the migrants.

    It wasn’t until a spate of bombs were sent to Democratic figures and leaders that coverage of the migrant caravan started to decline. On Wednesday, October 24, cable news focused primarily on the bomb threats. Almost all of the coverage of the caravan came before the pipe bomb story picked up. CNN spent nearly an hour on the caravan while MSNBC spent just over half and hour on the group of migrants. Fox’s coverage of the caravan remained the highest, with the network devoting an hour and 45 minutes to the migrants.

    Fox’s coverage spiked back up the next day, October 25, to nearly three hours. CNN and MSNBC remained focused on the still-escalating number of bomb threats; each network spent less than 10 minutes on the caravan.

    It's clear that Fox News is doing the best it can to make sure that the migrant caravan stays in the news cycle. On October 25, Fox anchor Martha MacCallum reported live from the border, conducting an extensive on-site interview with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen that led off with discussion of the caravan rather than the bombs being delivered across the country.

    Fox News continued its amplified coverage of the migrant group from Friday, October 26, through Sunday, October 28, even after news broke on Saturday morning that a shooter targeted a synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, killing 11 individuals. The shooter alluded to the caravan, and claimed the Jews were behind such caravans, as part of the reason for the attack, calling the migrants “invaders.” Fox News figures have frequently engaged in this “invasion” rhetoric while talking about the caravan. Nonetheless, Fox continued its steady drumbeat of fearmongering about the migrant group the day of and the day after the shooting.

    In comparison, CNN and MSNBC dropped their coverage of the caravan mostly to mentions, oftentimes in conversations about Trump’s attempts to shift the focus back to the topic. In the three-day period, CNN spent 17 minutes, MSNBC spent 35 minutes, and Fox News spent over four hours discussing the migrants.

    In total, from October 15 through October 28, the three cable news channels devoted over 40 hours to the group of migrants in the south of Mexico. Fox News has spent nearly 23 and a half hours covering the topic, CNN has spent 10 and a half hours, and MSNBC has discussed the migrants for six hours and 20 minutes.

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Media Matters will continue to track the cable networks’ caravan coverage.

    Gabby Miller, Tyler Monroe, Zach Pleat, Sanam Malik, Stephen Morris, Chris Shields, and Kaitlyn Angrove contributed research.


    Media Matters searched SnapStream for any mention of “caravan,” “Mexico,” “migrants,” “illegals,” “Guatemala,” or “Honduras” on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC between the hours of 4 a.m and midnight starting October 15 and ending October 28. We included any teasers, passing mentions, or discussions specifically about the caravan. Conversations that weren’t specifically focused on the caravan but were about immigration at large were excluded. Shows that re-aired during the hours of the study were included in the results. Mentions of the caravan specific to discussion about the motive of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting were not included.