On January 6, a mob incited by President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol and attempted to stop the constitutional counting of electoral votes which would formally declare former Vice President Joe Biden the president-elect. The mob’s self-stated mission was to “stop the steal,” a slogan premised on the idea that the 2020 presidential election was rigged or stolen. Fox News played a large part in fueling that lie.
In the two weeks after Fox News called the election for Biden, Fox News cast doubt on the results of the election at least 774 times. The network’s most prominent figures relentlessly attempted to subvert democracy by fueling conspiracy theories and spreading misinformation, rhetoric for which the network has refused to hold them accountable.
Fox News repeatedly aided Trump’s efforts to undermine election results, laying the groundwork to cry foul if Trump lost, echoing debunked theories of fraud, pushing the idea that Democrats are trying to “steal” this from him, and arguing that Trump is justified in pursuing his claims of a rigged election. This pattern of coverage continued in the lead-up to the day of the riots.
Fox News shouldn’t escape culpability for its role in the “stolen election” lie that inflamed the violent mob.