Fox News dedicated just 7 minutes of coverage to the convictions of four members of the Proud Boys on seditious conspiracy. This is a continuation of Fox News’ efforts to whitewash and ignore the events of January 6.
On May 4, four members of the Proud Boys, including leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, were convicted of seditious conspiracy for their actions surrounding the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
Despite the historic nature of the convictions, as of May 5 at noon, Fox News has only aired 7 minutes of coverage. Most of the networks' coverage came by airing Attorney General Merrick Garland's press conference on the convictions, with Fox News personalities only mentioning the convictions in three brief headline reports throughout the day, totaling just 2 minutes of coverage.
It wasn’t a matter of Fox not having the ability to cover breaking news of trial verdicts -- the same day as the Proud Boys verdict the network found ample time to cover the not liable verdict in the Ed Sheeran copyright case, dedicating 25 minutes of coverage throughout the same time period, over three times the coverage dedicated to the Proud Boys guilty verdicts.
Fox has repeatedly ignored and downplayed the ramifications of the January 6 attack on the Capitol, in addition to manufacturing alternative narratives for its viewers to believe about the riot, all while facing serious legal issues about the networks own role in supporting the big lie.
Media Matters searched transcripts in the SnapStream video database for all original programming on Fox News Channel for the term “Proud Boys” or any of the names, including misspellings, “Tarrio,” “Pezzola,” “Nordean,” “Biggs,” or “Rehl” within close proximity of any of the terms “guilty,” “convict,” “conspiracy,” “tamper,” “electoral,” “vote,” “Trump,” or “Capitol” or any variation of any of the terms “obstruct,” “destruct,” “sedition,” or “January 6” from May 4, 2023, when a Washington, D.C., jury convicted five Proud Boys members of seditious conspiracy or other serious crimes, through 12 p.m. ET May 5, 2023.
We also searched transcripts in the SnapStream video database for all original programming on Fox News Channel for any of the names, including misspellings, “Sheeran,” “Gaye,” or “Townsend” within close proximity of any of the terms “steal,” “trial,” “verdict,” “Thinking Out Loud,” “Let’s Get it On,” or “infringement” or any variation of the word “copy” from May 4, 2023, through 12 p.m. ET May 5, 2023.
We timed segments, which we defined as instances when either the convictions of seditious conspiracy or other charges for five Proud Boys members or the not-liable verdict in the Ed Sheeran copyright case were the stated topic of discussion or when we found significant discussion of either topic. We defined significant discussion as instances when two or more speakers in a multitopic segment discussed the Proud Boys convictions or the Sheeran verdict with one another.
We also timed mentions, which we defined as instances when a speaker in a segment on another topic mentioned either the Proud Boys convictions or the Sheeran verdict without another speaker engaging with the comment, and teasers, which we defined as instances when the anchor or host promoted a segment about the convictions or the verdict scheduled to air later in the broadcast.
We rounded all times to the nearest minute.