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Fox News buries Donald Trump’s meeting with Ye and white supremacist troll Nick Fuentes

Fox devoted less than 7 minutes over the weekend to the ex-president's dinner with two of the nation's most prominent antisemites

Fox News is giving paltry coverage to another major scandal surrounding the network’s longtime political ally, disgraced former president and 2024 Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, who had dinner last week with the entertainer and vocal antisemite Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, who also brought perhaps an even worse guest with him — white nationalist online troll Nick Fuentes. Fox has only given the story a total of 7 minutes of coverage, spread across five segments.

  • Nick Fuentes attended the infamous Charlottesville, Virginia, Unite the Right rally organized by white supremacists in 2017, an event that resulted in the murder of counter-protester Heather Heyer and which then-President Trump described as featuring “some very fine people on both sides.” Fuentes capitalized on the notoriety he gained from Charlottesville and has since built up an extensive online presence attacking Jews, Black people, and women. He has also defended Adolf Hitler and called for a “white uprising” to install Trump as a dictator and end American democracy. He maintains close ties with far-right Reps. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who each spoke at a conference he held earlier this year.

    Fuentes was also present at the January 6 insurrection, and spoke to the pro-Trump rioters outside the Capitol. He is now bragging about meeting Trump, recalling that the disgraced former president said of him, “This guy’s smart. Where did you find this guy?” (Trump also reportedly told Ye, “I really like this guy. He gets me.”)

    But on Fox News, the network has kept an almost perfect lid on the story, with total coverage adding up to a mere 7 minutes, according to a Media Matters analysis.

    The first such brief mention on Fox occurred Friday, during the final programming block on Special Report with Bret Baier, in which Fox News political analyst Juan Williams tagged Ye as his “Loser of the Week,” putting the blame on the celebrity for having done “no favors to the former president, and I think he further embarrassed himself” by bringing Fuentes to the dinner.

    Guest anchor Gillian Turner then cued up another novelty segment to close out the week, “Notable Quotables.”

  • Video file

    Citation From the November 25, 2022, edition of Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier

  • One of the network’s more substantive examinations of the Trump-Fuentes encounter was delivered not by a Fox staffer but by Axios national political reporter Jonathan Swan, who pointed out on Fox News Sunday that few Republicans have actually come out against Trump by name over this, seeming to fear his continued hold on the Republican base.

  • Video file

    Citation From the November 27, 2022, edition of Fox News' Fox News Sunday

  • In another discussion on MediaBuzz, panelist Meghan McCain pointed out that “you shouldn't be meeting with Kanye West, period.” The story also merited quick mentions on two nearly identical Fox News Live headline updates later in the afternoon, in which the story was presented in terms of President Joe Biden’s public response.

    By contrast, legitimate news outlets have given much more extensive coverage to Fuentes’ noxious views, as well as Trump’s long history of associating with white supremacists. CNN ran a news segment and panel discussion Monday morning that lasted for 13 minutes — nearly twice the length of Fox’s entire combined coverage, in just a single programming block. MSNBC's Morning Joe also devoted a full 6-minute segment to the story this morning, roughly equal to Fox's entire coverage over the weekend.

  • Methodology

  • Media Matters searched transcripts in the SnapStream video database for all original programming on Fox News Channel for any of the terms “dinner,” “dine,” “meal,” or “Mar-A-Lago” within close proximity of any of the terms “Trump,” “West,” “Fuentes,” “white nationalist,” or “Holocaust” or any variation of the term “anti-Semite” from November 22, 2022, when the dinner took place, through 3 p.m. ET November 28, 2022.

    We timed segments, which we defined as instances when Donald Trump’s dinner with Ye and Nick Fuentes was the stated topic of discussion or when we found significant discussion of the dinner. We defined significant discussion as instances when two or more speakers in a multitopic segment discussed the dinner with one another.

    We also timed mentions, which we defined as instances when a single speaker mentioned the dinner without another speaker engaging with the comment, and teasers, which we defined as instances when the anchor or host promoted a segment about the dinner scheduled to air later in the broadcast.

    We rounded all times to the nearest minute.