Fox News has been silent on the latest news to come out that former President Donald Trump defended his supporters after they had chanted for the hanging of then-Vice President Mike Pence during the January 6 insurrection — an event which Fox has previously attempted to deny and redirect culpability away from Trump.
Trump made the comments in a clip released on Friday from an interview with ABC News chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl, explaining that “the people were very angry” at Pence for not following the plan of Trump’s far-right lawyer John Eastman to unilaterally refuse to count Electoral College votes for Joe Biden, in an attempt to keep Trump in power despite losing the 2020 election.
Karl reiterated that the rioters were chanting, “Hang Mike Pence,” and Trump continued to defend them, calling it “common sense” that Pence was “supposed to protect” the election and repeating dishonest claims that the result was “fraudulent.” (On a side note, Karl recorded this interview on March 18 — but did not think to share it with the public until nearly eight months later, in the run-up to a book release.)
So far on Friday, Fox News has not mentioned the story once — which is not the first time the network has covered up this particularly ugly facet of the January 6 riot.
The weekend immediately following the attack, Fox commentators lied about the reason why the phrase “Hang Mike Pence” had been trending on Twitter. These commentators made it appear as if people on the platform were suggesting such an action — rather than reacting in horror to the video of Trump supporters calling for it — in order to depict a false example of a double standard in social media platform enforcement.
By contrast, CNN has discussed the story for a total of at least 30 minutes so far today, according to a review by Media Matters, while MSNBC mentioned the subject briefly on three different programs. For one example of better media behavior, a panel on CNN’s Inside Politics discussed the newly released recording.
“‘Well, the people were very angry. Well, it's common sense,’” anchor John King recited, appearing somewhat dumbfounded. “It's stunning — stunning — for any human being to say that about the potential life of another human being, let alone the president of the United States at the time, against his loyal vice president.”
“And why were they angry, John? Because the president was lying about the results of the election,” replied CNN congressional correspondent Lauren Fox. “His deputies were going out publicly and lying about what had occurred during a fair and free election. The president is not addressing here that he has culpability and responsibility for why these people are standing outside the Capitol screaming that his vice president should be hung. I think that is what is remarkable here to me, is not just that the president wasn't worried about the vice president, but he seems to ignore the fact that it's a serious problem that he was lying to the American people for months after the election.”
Of course, another key player in telling the lies that brought a mob of Trump supporters to the Capitol was Fox News itself — something the network has since tried to cover up, while also telling a new stream of lies about the attack.