There is plenty of major news for credible journalists to discuss this week. Floundering House Republican leaders put forward a continuing resolution for funding the U.S. government that met immediate resistance from their members, setting up a shutdown at the end of the month. The United Auto Workers union has launched a strike targeting the Big Three U.S. automakers. President Joe Biden is preparing to attend the U.N. General Assembly, while former President Donald Trump fends off new reports related to one of his four criminal indictments and attacks “liberal Jews” for having voted “to destroy America & Israel.” And there is still, technically, an ongoing Republican presidential primary campaign.
Meanwhile, Fox News and Fox Business have combined to devote at least 70 minutes of airtime to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) Sunday announcement that senators will no longer be limited to business attire on the floor of the Senate in reports airing from Sunday through noon ET Tuesday. The right-wing propaganda networks largely used the story as a vehicle to attack Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA), who is known for his casual dress.
Fox News has devoted 53 minutes to the story, running 20 segments on programs including The Big Sunday Show, Fox & Friends First, Fox & Friends, America’s Newsroom, The Faulkner Focus, Outnumbered, America Reports, The Story with Martha MacCallum, The Five, Special Report with Bret Baier, The Ingraham Angle, Jesse Watters Primetime, and Gutfeld!.
Fox Business — theoretically a business news network — chimed in with another 17 minutes of coverage, running 9 segments on shows including Mornings with Maria Bartiromo, Varney & Company, Making Money with Charles Payne, and The Bottom Line.
Every single segment on both networks referenced Fetterman.
By contrast, MSNBC and CNN have each devoted 9 minutes to the story. On MSNBC, that included Fetterman’s appearance to discuss the right-wing freakout on All In.
Fetterman attacks have been a staple for Fox’s right-wing propagandists since his 2022 Senate campaign, during which they described accommodations he uses following a stroke as indications that he is “severely disabled” and a “giant walking vegetable” whose consciousness may be controlled by “software.”
Below is a sampling of Fox’s coverage of the all-important dress code story.
Media Matters searched transcripts in the SnapStream video database for all original programming on Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network for any of the terms “dress,” “attire,” “casual,” “gym shorts,” or “hoodie” within close proximity of any of the terms “Congress,” “Schumer,” or “Fetterman” or any variation of the term “Senate” from September 17, 2023, when Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told the Senate’s sergeant at arms to stop enforcing the informal dress code, through noon ET September 19, 2023.
We timed segments, which we defined as instances when the informal Senate dress code was the stated topic of discussion or when we found significant discussion of the dress code. We defined significant discussion as instances when two or more speakers in a multitopic segment discussed the dress code with one another.
We also timed mentions, which we defined as instances when a single speaker in a segment about any topic mentioned the dress code without another speaker in the segment engaging with the comment, and teasers, which we defined as instances when the anchor or host promoted a segment about the dress code scheduled to air later in the broadcast. We rounded all times to the nearest minute.
We then reviewed the identified segments for whether any speaker mentioned John Fetterman with regard to the dress code.