With the news that former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is refusing to cooperate further with the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, one Fox News program is attacking other networks for giving so much coverage to the attempted overthrow of American democracy.
On Wednesday’s edition of Outnumbered, the panel spoke dismissively against a piece from Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, who obtained a data analytics study finding that press coverage of Biden has actually been worse in the first 11 months of 2021 than it was for Trump during the first 11 months of 2020.
“The country is in an existential struggle between self-governance and an authoritarian alternative,” Milbank wrote. “And we in the news media, collectively, have given equal, if not slightly more favorable, treatment to the authoritarians.”
Fox host Brian Kilmeade, however, insisted that the news media is habitually ignoring negative stories about Biden — instead spending too much time on the attempted overthrow of the United States earlier this year and subsequent efforts to cover it up.
“What about the Iranian deal, the way we’re begging to get in? We’re just not even reporting that question. Crime and inflation are fundamental things that they don’t even report,” Kilmeade said. “If you look at the other channels, it's 45 minutes an hour on January 6, that's all they got. ‘Mark Meadows, what’s going to happen?’ January 6, that's all they got. So they don't even want to report any other things, so it's nonreporting by omission.”
As Kilmeade spoke, Outnumbered co-host Kayleigh McEnany nodded along. Previously, during her time as both White House press secretary and Trump campaign adviser, McEnany called for the Republican-controlled legislature to change the absentee ballot numbers a month after the election, and for the governor of Georgia to “threaten the budget of the secretary of state” to overturn the state’s election results.
This attitude largely follows the network’s previous track record of neglecting to cover important stories about the insurrection, and for its hosts to actively oppose the efforts to investigate it. Meanwhile, Fox’s top prime-time host, Tucker Carlson, has mounted a propaganda series claiming that the attack was a “false flag” set up by the FBI to enable the persecution of conservatives.
Fox News has also not been silent on Mark Meadows’ breakoff in cooperation from the committee. He appeared the night before on Hannity, discussing the story in a much more friendly setting, while he also made a number of purportedly factual claims about Trump’s conduct in the run-up to January 6. At the same time, he is refusing to sit for a deposition with a congressional committee to make such claims under oath.
The materials that Meadows has previously shared with the House’s January 6 select committee, despite his claims of executive privilege on behalf of former President Donald Trump, are already making waves in media coverage. For example, in a text message sent the Friday after Election Day, Meadows declared, “I love it,” regarding a strategy to have Republican-controlled state legislatures nullify their election results and appoint Electoral College delegates for Trump instead of Joe Biden.
The Washington Post notes that Meadows claims in his book that Trump was “mortified” over what happened on January 6 and had told Meadows that he had been “speaking metaphorically” when he told his supporters to march to the Capitol. These claims run counter to media reports earlier this year, in which unnamed White House officials said that Trump had been watching the riot on TV and “loving” it. (Meadows’ book is also contradicted by Trump’s open declarations since then that “the real insurrection” was on Election Day in 2020, and that January 6 was “a day of protesting the Fake Election results.”)
The Post also points out that Meadows’ newfound refusal to cooperate with the committee “marks a reversal following Trump’s angry outbursts against Meadows about his new memoir.”
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), the chair of the January 6 committee, also said in a letter to Meadows’ attorney on Tuesday: “That he would sell his telling of the facts of that day while denying a congressional committee the opportunity to ask him about the attack on our Capitol marks an historic and aggressive defiance of Congress.”