Listen to Angelo Carusone explain how Fox News’ legal troubles influence its on-air commentary

Listen to Angelo Carusone explain how Fox News’ legal troubles influence its on-air commentary

Image of SiriusXM host Dean Obeidallah next to image of Media Matters' Angelo Carusone
Audio file

Citation From the January 20, 2023, edition of SiriusXM's The Dean Obeidallah Show

DEAN OBEIDALLAH (HOST): What's weird is that you have an article about how Fox News ignored the story of the guy in New Mexico, Solomon Peña, which I had covered on my show Tuesday -- it was my entire open. And we had phone calls about it, and I wrote about it for Substack. And when I turn on MS[NBC] and CNN, then they were talking about it nonstop.

Well, I don't watch Fox, but you guys do. And if you don't have the numbers in front of you, I can read exactly the numbers of how much Fox covered it. But do you have them?

ANGELO CARUSONE (MEDIA MATTERS PRESIDENT): Well, it's not hard to know. Fox covered it less than one minute. 

OBEIDALLAH: Exactly. For context, CNN covered for an hour and 35 minutes in the first two days of the story. MS[NBC] covered it for two hours and 20 minutes the first two days of the story. I covered it for an hour. Fox News covered it for less than a minute, folks. And why would they not cover a Trump-loving election-denying terrorist? That's my question. 

CARUSONE: Yeah, especially one that was parroting the very lies about a stolen election that Fox News is currently being sued for and that Rupert Murdoch is literally sitting inside of a deposition room right now discussing. So, you know, I think you're -- when you asked about why they didn't cover stuff, it's -- a lot of times in the last year has also been connected to this trial. Which is, you know, it's very rare that Fox is over a barrel.

But, you know, if you watch the trial very closely -- no one should or does because most of their filings are under seal. But if you look at the scheduling and what happens, so many things that happen in the public, they say, "Why is Fox doing that? Why are they saying that?" It's like, oh, because this week they're literally in court about that topic. "Why are they ignoring this? Why are they ignoring all this stuff about, you know, earlier in the summer?" And it's like, well, because Hannity is currently, his partner -- "Why the J6 hearings?" Because they're in court talking about this, and Hannity is currently getting, discussing and joining the January 6 committee. We talked about this on the show a bunch.

So anyways, that's a piece of it. It's not the only reason or the biggest reason. But yeah, they have a vested interest in that and in sort of shielding this, I would say not just for selfish reasons and to protect the organization, but also because -- and this is the part that I find very scary. It's that -- their argument is that there's no such thing as right wing violence.


CARUSONE: Right? And so, you know, this validates the concerns that people have about political violence. They say that that's ridiculous. Whenever a Democrat makes that point or anybody in the public makes that point, they attack them.

So they can't really talk about this without talking about the fact that somebody wasn't just -- you can't just say this is some crazy, which I think is the way that they would normally describe it and many would. It's -- this is pretty clearly somebody that got so hopped up on the lies and misinformation, really acted not just violently, but with political motivations and clear intentionality and clarity of mind. And that -- the fuel for a lot of that was Fox News coverage. So it's kind of hard for them to separate themselves out.