On Fox “news” program Outnumbered Overtime, anchor Harris Faulkner regularly allows guests representing President Donald Trump to promote lies about abortion and allegations that Democrats are “extreme” for supporting abortion access -- without pushing back or challenging their claims.
In attempts to reassure advertisers fleeing from its toxic brand of right-wing programming, Fox News executives often point to the network’s so-called “news” division as a credible counterweight to the lies aired by its prime-time opinion shows. However, when it comes to abortion-related coverage, Fox’s “news”-side frequently pushes the same anti-abortion misinformation as its opinion coverage. For example, after state legislatures in New York and Virginia attempted to protect or expand abortion access in the face of conservative attacks, both Fox’s “news” and opinion shows went all-out in promoting the lie that Democrats support abortion “up to birth” or “infanticide” in order to malign Democratic candidates as too “extreme” for voters before the 2020 elections.
Faulkner’s program, Outnumbered Overtime, is no exception to this trend. Faukner is not shy about boosting right-wing misinformation herself or allowing guests to advance the same without correction. When discussing abortion in particular, Faulkner has allowed members of Trump’s administration and campaign to spread obviously false claims about abortion and abortion access.
In February, presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway criticized Democrats while appearing Faulkner’s program and argued, “We are not a country that is going to allow for legal infanticide as long as Donald Trump is the president of United States.” Faulkner didn’t push back on this false claim of “infanticide,” but did appear to take issue with an earlier claim by Conway that the media is “pro-abortion.” However, Conway’s response which pivoted the discussion back to broader anti-abortion misinformation was left unchallenged by Faulkner.
During another February episode, Faulkner hosted Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel who similarly claimed Democrats are “out of touch with most Americans” because they believe in allowing abortion “on the due date of a baby about to born.” In separate segments, Trump 2020 campaign advisory board member Jason Meister and White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley both characterized Democrats as unelectable because they allegedly support “infanticide.”
Most recently, Kayleigh McEnany, Trump’s 2020 campaign press secretary, attacked Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg as not being a “moderate wonder” in part because he supports “abortion until first breath.” Faulkner did not dispute any of these inaccurate characterizations.
Even if Faulkner isn’t the primary source of anti-abortion misinformation on her own show, allowing guests to promote these lies is dangerous and obviously contradicts the network’s narrative that its “news”-side is distinct from the toxic opinion programming.