Fox & Friends devoted less than 20 minutes to the news that special counsel Robert Mueller was filing charges against two of President Donald Trump’s top campaign aides, while other cable news morning shows spent over an hour on the story this morning.
On October 30, a federal grand jury indicted Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chief, and Rick Gates, Manafort’s longtime business associate who also served as his deputy on the Trump campaign, as part of Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The indictment includes 12 counts, including conspiracy against the United States and acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal. The Daily Beast called the indictments “stunning.”
After the news of the indictment came out shortly before 8 a.m., MSNBC’s Morning Joe and CNN’s New Day stayed on the story until their respective shows ended at 9 a.m. Fox News’ Fox & Friends, on the other hand, devoted only 18 minutes and 48 seconds to the story in the same time period.
This is hardly the first time Fox News has attempted to downplay or mislead about the Russia probe. Fox has also tried to deflect attention by scandalizing innocuous stories, such as attempting to link former President Barack Obama to the dossier about Trump’s relationship with Russia or repeatedly covering the debunked story involving former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a Russian uranium company.
Media Matters searched SnapStream for mentions of the world “Manafort” on the October 30 editions of CNN’s New Day, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and Fox News’ Fox & Friends. We timed the mentions if they were part of a significant discussion of the indictments, with “significant discussion” defined as a back-and-forth exchange between two or more people on the indictment, a packaged report where the indictment was the stated topic of discussion, or a host monologue where the indictment was the stated topic of discussion.