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Violent crime is down nationally. Fox News would rather talk about vibes.

Statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation show that crime in the U.S. decreased between 2022 and 2023. In fact, according to crime researcher and AH Datalytics co-founder Jeff Asher, violent crime is at one of its lowest levels since 1950, with significant declines in murder and gun violence. Nevertheless, Fox News has consistently downplayed and disputed these statistics, placing more emphasis on peoples’ feelings about crime than on actual crime rates. 

  • Violent crimes like murder, assault, and theft have dropped significantly in the U.S. since pandemic-era spikes

    • According to FBI statistics, violent crime in the U.S. fell by at least 8% between the third quarters of 2022 and 2023. Crime, in general, has also been falling, with property crime declining by 6.3% and dropping to its lowest level since 1961. Another FBI crime report published in October 2023 showed that murder had decreased 6.1% in 2022. [FBI, 12/4/23; Popular Information, 10/17/23; NBC News, 12/16/23]
    • In a separate analysis of crime data, crime researcher Jeff Asher said that “2023 featured one of the lowest rates of violent crime in the U.S. in more than 50 years.” Asher’s data, collected from over 200 cities, showed a 12.2% decline in murders from 2022 to 2023. He also saw “instances of rape, robbery and aggravated assault” drop. Additionally, Asher reported that violent crime has “continued to fall” since 2022. [AH Datalytics, accessed 3/11/24; National Public Radio, 2/12/24, 2/1/24]
    • Fox News’ reluctance to report declining crime rates appears to be part of its election year strategy to fearmonger about a “crime crisis.” In the lead-up to the 2022 midterms, between August and October, discussion of crime comprised roughly 11% of all prime-time segments on Fox News. As The Washington Post noted, Fox also tends to discuss crime “as though it’s on the rise” by “cherry-picking” certain cities or data points in order to play on viewers’ fears while claiming that mainstream media reporting is inaccurate. [Media Matters, 1/9/23, 10/19/22; The Washington Post, 12/18/23]
  • Fox News personalities have been downplaying decreases in violent crime and suggesting that people’s feelings are a better indicator

    • Fox host Jeanine Pirro accused President Joe Biden of being on “another planet” because he stated that in 2023 the United States saw one of its lowest violent crime rates in the past 50 years. Pirro went on to claim that there has not been a “reduction in crime” in New York City, blaming prosecutor Alvin Bragg for “reducing 60% of felony crimes to either misdemeanors or no crimes at all.” [Fox News, The Five, 2/29/24]
    • After Fox News contributor Robert Wolf acknowledged there’s been a “reduction in crime” in the U.S., senior economic adviser to the Trump campaign Stephen Moore said that while there’s “some truth in what Robert is saying …  the crime levels have really escalated.” Moore said, “A lot of the stores are saying the amount of reported crime is down but not the amount of actual crime, and you know that because people just feel unsafe on the streets.” Co-anchor Sandra Smith also refuted the “drop in crime statistics,” saying, “That is not what we’re all feeling or seeing.” [Fox News, America Reports, 2/28/24]
    • Fox News contributor Paul Mauro admitted that “any decline [in crime] is good” before quickly pivoting to fearmonger about “menacing on the street” and “homeless people bothering people” in New York City. In reality, major crimes, including burglary and felony assault, have seen “substantial drops” in New York City. [Fox News, The Faulkner Focus, 1/5/24;, 2/6/24]
    • Fox News anchor Dana Perino cited New York City deploying the National Guard to patrol the subway to suggest that crime isn’t down in the city. Perino questioned that “hundreds of National Guardsmen and state police troopers are now patrolling New York City subways. But I thought crime was down?” [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 3/8/24]
    • Fox News host Lawrence Jones complained that the Biden administration was trying to push numbers about lowered crime statistics in order to invalidate the experiences of people who “go to the grocery store or the gas tank” or are “in the cities that have been invaded by crime.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 1/5/24]
    • Fox News host Greg Gutfeld argued that Americans are “now just questioning data in general” and do not buy lower crime rates because people’s experiences “don’t match the data.” Gutfeld went on to claim that “we know that a lot of the crime data changes because they don't report crimes anymore, they downgrade them so they are not — they’re not actually a reduction in action.” [Fox News, The Five, 3/6/24]
    • Gutfeld also claimed that “the media” would tout lower crime levels as part of a scheme to help “lift Joe Biden's sagging campaign.” [Fox News, Gutfeld, 1/2/24]
    • Fox anchor John Roberts argued that “it's difficult to convince Americans that they are safe, or becoming safer, when they do not feel safe,” regardless of what the data shows. Roberts referenced three recent deaths in an attempt to disprove the Biden administration’s claim that “crime is going down across the country.” [Fox News, America Reports, 2/28/24]
    • Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum pushed back on a clip of MSNBC host Rachel Maddow saying that “violent crime in America is at a 50-year low” by arguing that it “feels so completely out of touch.” [Fox News, The Story, 3/6/24]
    • On Fox’s America’s Newsroom, correspondent Alexandria Hoff argued that “the bottom line is that people still feel unsafe” in response to guest host Gillian Turner’s prediction that Biden would tout the national drop in crime during his State of the Union address. [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 3/7/24]