An analysis by Media Matters found that Fox News has dedicated only 9 minutes of total coverage to breaking news that two corporate entities of the Trump Organization were found guilty on all counts in a tax fraud case in New York. By contrast, Fox's cable news competitors granted the guilty verdicts against former President Donald Trump’s private business empire far more attention, with MSNBC offering roughly 1 hour and 23 minutes of coverage, and CNN devoting 40 minutes.
This pattern of neglect is similar to Fox’s almost nonexistent coverage of other recent scandals involving Trump, including his meeting with vocal antisemites Nick Fuentes and Ye last month, and his more recent call to “terminate” the U.S. Constitution to reinstall himself in power.
The Trump Organization was convicted Tuesday in a New York court, which find that the company had falsified business records and dodged mandatory financial reporting on extravagant benefits for executives such as luxury apartments and cars. The case is one piece in a number of legal efforts to scrutinize Trump's businesses.
Anchor Martha MacCallum was the first on-air Fox News personality to mention the story, giving it less than 30 seconds of airtime soon after the guilty verdict broke. She then switched gears to another story that was “all over the New York City papers” — the reported extramarital affair between ABC News anchors T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach. On one of Fox’s purported “straight news” programs, a guilty verdict against a former president’s business empire still had to take a back seat to celebrity gossip.
MacCallum later briefly returned to the Trump Organization story during the final minute of her program, in her discussion with MediaBuzz host Howard Kurtz.
The story got just slightly more in-depth coverage on Your World with Neil Cavuto, with Fox senior correspondent and anchor Eric Shawn explaining that Trump “was not charged on this directly, but there is a possibility now that the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg, could potentially bring charges at some point soon against the former president.” This segment lasted about 3 minutes.
The story next received 3 more minutes of coverage in the opening block of Special Report with Bret Baier. This segment again featured an overview from Shawn, as well as commentary by Fox News contributor and former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, who said that the Trump Organization “is now going to be seen as a convicted tax felon, and that's going to have consequences for them in terms of doing business going forward.”
Fox News’ prime-time coverage then did absolutely nothing about this story. While the network has vociferously opposed investigations of Trump on topics ranging from his failed coup attempt to his business practices, the network’s prime-time hosts were utterly silent once the actual guilty verdicts came down in this case, giving zero coverage at all to this case.
After Baier’s brief segment in the 6 p.m. time slot, six more hours passed until the next mention came during Fox News @ Night, when there was a 35-second headline update by anchor Trace Gallagher.
Media Matters searched transcripts in the SnapStream video database for all original programming on Fox News Channel for the term “Trump” within close proximity of the terms “organization” or “fraud” or any variation of the word “convict” from December 6, 2022, through December 7, 2022, at 12 p.m. EST.
We timed segments, which we defined as instances when the charges against the Trump organization were the stated topic of discussion or when we found significant discussion. We defined significant discussion as instances when two or more speakers in a multitopic segment discussed the story with one another.
We also timed passing mentions, which we defined as instances when a single speaker in a multitopic segment mentioned the charges against the Trump Organization without another speaker engaging with the comment, and teasers, which we defined as instances when the anchor or host promoted a segment about the charges against the Trump Organization scheduled to air later in the broadcast. We rounded all times to the nearest minute.