Ingraham Black Lives matter brainwashing

Research/Study Research/Study

Fox News has attacked Black Lives Matter over 400 times in a 6-month period

  • Fox News has been relentlessly negative in its coverage of Black Lives Matter, airing 440 statements attacking the movement from November 2020 through April 2021. Amid a nationwide call for racial justice, and calls for an end to racial profiling in policing, Fox has repeatedly degraded and attacked the efforts of protesters and organizers, dismissing their concerns and attacking the individuals behind the movements. 

    Since the origins of the movement in 2013, Black Lives Matter has been central to protests against racial injustice in policing, growing into a worldwide social media movement both in the United States and abroad. Despite numerous reports showing that Black Lives Matter protests have been “overwhelmingly peaceful,” Fox frequently portrays the movement as violent and dangerous to the country. 

    Fox News figures have consistently portrayed Black Lives Matter protesters as “extremists” as they attempt to grapple with America’s history of systemic racism. Hosts on the network have claimed that BLM founders “demand that white people be deprogrammed,” that BLM is a “Marxist” organization, that they campaign to “end the nuclear family," and that it “has as its mission to overthrow the United States.”

  • Video file

    Citation From the January 24, 2021, edition of Fox News' Life, Liberty, & Levin

  • Video file

    Citation From the February 16, 2020, edition of Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight

  • In the six-month period from November 2020 to April 2021, Fox News made 440 individual statements attacking Black Lives Matter. Fox News hosts have been the driving forces behind these attacks, with Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Pete Hegseth, and Will Cain accounting for 20% of the attacks on the network. Ingraham and her program act as the worst offenders on the network, leading with 74 statements attacking Black Lives Matter over the course of the study period. 

    The smears have taken place outside of opinion programming as well, with the “news” side of Fox responsible for 95 statements critical of Black Lives Matter since November 2020. Daytime news programs America’s Newsroom, Bill Hemmer Reports, and The Story with Martha MacCallum each had at least 10 negative statements against the movement. 

    Fox has repeatedly smeared protests against racism and injustice in law enforcement, with hosts such as Tucker Carlson repeatedly mischaracterizing the protests in the wake of George Floyd as dangerous and violent riots. Carlson on his April 20 show suggested that Derek Chauvin was found guilty because jurors were scared “after nearly a year of burning and looting and murder by BLM.” Carlson argued the guilty verdict was the juror's way of saying “please don't hurt us.” Hosts and guests have also conflated Black Lives Matter with antifa and even claimed that the movement has the potential to grow “like ISIS did in the Middle East.”

  • Video file

    Citation From the November, 23, 2020 edition of Fox News' Hannity

  • In the wake of the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Fox News repeatedly used Black Lives Matter to downplay the violent actions of the Trump-supporting mob, suggesting that the Capitol attack was similar to BLM protests but simply treated differently by the media. Tucker Carlson multiple times attempted to shift focus away from right-wing extremism and white nationalists to supposed “extremists” and “Black supremacists” within the BLM movement. 

  • Fox’s repeated attacks on the Black Lives Matter movement are part of a long-running campaign by the network against racial justice. Even after the conclusion of this study, Fox has continued to attempt to portray the movement as radical, claiming in a since-edited headline that Black Lives Matter supported Hamas terrorists, an outrageous claim that was echoed by several of the network’s contributors. The constant demonization goes hand in hand with both the network’s repeated dismissal of racial motivations in violent incidents against people of color and its tendency to give platforms to  white nationalist commentators and theories.

  • Methodology

  • Media Matters searched transcripts in the SnapStream video database for all original programming on Fox News Channel for either of the terms “Black Lives Matter” or “BLM” from November 1, 2020, through April 30, 2021.

    We included any segment about Black Lives Matter, which we defined as instances when Black Lives Matter was the stated topic of discussion or when we found “significant discussion” of Black Lives Matter. We defined significant discussion as instances when two or more speakers  in multitopic segments discussed Black Lives Matters with one another. We also included passing mentions of Black Lives Matter, which we defined as instances when a single speaker mentioned Black Lives Matter without another speaker engaging with the comment, and teasers promoting upcoming segments about Black Lives Matter.

    We counted statements that were critical of Black Lives Matter or that portrayed Black Lives Matter negatively. We defined a statement as a block of uninterrupted speech from a single speaker. For host monologues, we defined a statement as a block of uninterrupted speech between citations, which we defined as playing a clip or reading a quote. We included played clips or read quotes only when a speaker positively affirmed the clip or quote directly before or after the clip was played or the quote was read.

    We counted statements as critical or negative when a speaker described Black Lives Matter protesters as violent; rioters or the cause of riots; looters; arsonists; dishonest; racist; radical; Marxist; or socialist. We also included instances that described Black Lives Matter with dehumanizing language, such as terms like “animals,” “thugs,” “gangsters,” or “bullies.”

    We split Fox programs into “news” and “opinion” sides. We defined “news” programs as those with anchors, such as Bret Baier or Shannon Bream, while we defined “opinion” programs as those with hosts, such as Tucker Carlson or Laura Ingraham, at the helm. We used the designations from each anchor or host’s author page on We also considered the format of the program; we defined those using a panel format, such as Outnumbered and The Five, as “opinion.”