A number of stories in the past few weeks point to corruption in President Donald Trump’s administration. But you wouldn’t know much about them from watching Fox News.
Pence and Doonbeg
During a recent trip to Ireland, Vice President Mike Pence stayed at Trump’s resort in Doonbeg even though his meetings were in Dublin, hours away from the resort. Pence’s chief of staff told the press that Trump suggested Pence could stay at the resort; Trump later claimed he had “nothing to do with” it. Pence has visited Trump properties multiple times in the past.
The news of Pence’s stay at Doonbeg broke September 2. A Media Matters review shows that Fox has mentioned the story just four times on since then, for a total of 2 minutes and 33 seconds. Two of those four mentions were on the afternoon of Saturday, September 7.
Military spending at Turnberry
On September 6, Politico reported about a letter from the House oversight committee regarding an Air National Guard crew rooming at Trump’s Turnberry resort in Scotland during a stop on its way to deliver supplies in Kuwait. Politico stated these incidents “raise the possibility that the military has helped keep Trump’s Turnberry resort afloat — the property lost $4.5 million in 2017, but revenue went up $3 million in 2018.” Politico subsequently reported on September 9 that Air Force crews have stayed at Trump’s resort at least four times since September 2018.
One minute and two seconds of that was on Justice with Judge Jeanine, during a segment in which host Jeanine Pirro and guest Dan Bongino complained about a tweet from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) calling for Trump’s impeachment following the story. The details of the report were never mentioned and were only visible thanks to Fox’s screenshot of Ocasio-Cortez’s quote tweet of Politico reporter Natasha Bertrand.
Wilbur Ross and NOAA
On September 9, The New York Times reported that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross threatened firings at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration after the agency’s Birmingham, Alabama, office contradicted Trump’s claim on September 1 that the state was threatened by Hurricane Dorian. The Times reported that Ross “phoned Neil Jacobs, the acting administrator of NOAA, from Greece where the secretary was traveling for meetings and instructed Dr. Jacobs to fix the agency's perceived contradiction of the president.” Shortly thereafter, the NOAA released an unsigned statement supporting Trump over the agency’s actual scientists.
Since the Times’ report, no one on Fox News has mentioned Ross at all.
Even when NOAA’s faulty statement was released on Friday, Fox’s reporters downplayed the issue. Bret Baier, the anchor of Fox News’ flagship news program, used the story as an opportunity to call Trump “the Rain Man of trolling the press.”
Media Matters searched Fox News transcripts in the SnapStream video database for the following terms:
For Vice President Mike Pence’s stay at a Trump golf resort in Doonbeg, we searched for any of the terms “Pence,” “vice president,” or “vice-president” within approximately 20 seconds of any of the terms “Doonbeg,” “Dublin,” “golf,” or “resort” after September 2.
For Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ threatened firings at NOAA, we searched for any of the terms “Ross,” or “Secretary of Commerce,” or “Commerce Secretary” within approximately 20 seconds of any of the terms “Dorian,” “Alabama,” “weather forecast,” “NOAA,” “National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,” “National Weather Service,” or any variation of “fire” after September 5.
For Air Force use of President Trump’s Turnberry resort, we searched for any of the terms “Trump” or “president” within approximately 20 seconds of any of the terms “Scotland,” “Turnberry,” “resort,” “Air Force,” “USAF,” or any variation of “refuel” after September 7.