The morning after President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech, Fox News’ morning show Fox & Friends covered House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) ripping up her copy of the speech 55 times more than it covered the lies the president told during the speech. In contrast, MSNBC called out Trump’s lies eight and a half times more than it covered the supposed Pelosi scandal.
In total, Fox covered Pelosi ripping up the papers a little more than one and a half times as much as CNN and MSNBC combined.
Last night, Trump gave his third State of the Union speech, which contained multiple falsehoods and outright lies. Trump falsely claimed that he will “always protect” patients with preexisting conditions, inflated the rate of job growth and number of jobs created under his administration, and flip-flopped his position on Social Security and Medicare spending, among many other misleading and outright false statements. Also last night, Pelosi ripped up her copy of the speech after Trump finished the address.
Fox & Friends was overwhelmingly more concerned with Pelosi’s symbolic shredding of Trump’s speech, spending 21 minutes on Pelosi and completely ignoring the various misleading and false claims within the State of the Union. In fact, the only mentions of the speech containing lies came in reference to Pelosi, such as when the hosts merely pointed out that Pelosi ripped up the speech because she believed it to be “a pack of lies.” At one point, Vice President Mike Pence, a guest on the show, noted that Pelosi “is now saying it was filled with lies. What lies were there?”
By contrast, MSNBC’s Morning Joe spent 38 minutes in its three-hour broadcast dissecting the many false statements the president made and only four minutes on Pelosi. CNN’s New Day spent marginally more time (10 minutes) on Trump’s falsehoods than on Pelosi's actions (eight minutes).
Media Matters searched the video transcript service SnapStream for any of the terms “State of the Union,” “SOTU,” or “speech” within close proximity of any of the terms “lie,” “truth,” “untruth,” “fact check,” “pre-existing conditions,” “economy,” “oil,” “gas,” “drug prices,” “health care,” “jobs,” “Medicare,” “Social Security,” “Pelosi,” or any variations of the term “mislead” in transcripts for the February 5 editions of CNN’ New Day, Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends, and MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
We timed all speech relevant to either any falsehood spoken by Trump in his February 4, 2020, State of the Union speech or Pelosi’s act of ripping up her copy of the speech. Times are rounded to the nearest minute.