After declining to air the first hearing of the January 6 congressional select committee last week, Fox News actually did air the June 13 hearing. But afterward, prime-time shows on the network focused more on promoting a moral panic against trans people and drag queens than on anything coming out of the hearing — in which former Fox personality Chris Stirewalt implicitly called out his former colleagues.
As my colleague Matt Gertz noted of the June 13 hearing, “Stirewalt’s testimony implicitly made the case that his former Fox colleagues spent months either lying to their viewers or revealing their own ignorance by trumpeting the former president’s election fraud conspiracy theories. But Fox is a GOP propaganda outlet that has little interest in informing its viewers, so the network ultimately sided with the fraudsters and fired Stirewalt for being correct about the election.”
Predictably, Fox’s coverage of the hearing was entirely negative. (As an example, Tucker Carlson hosted Michigan gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley for a sympathetic interview; Kelley was recently arrested on charges related to January 6.)
From 7 p.m. ET through midnight — covering the shows of Jesse Watters, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Greg Gutfeld — Fox aired just over 10 minutes of coverage of the hearing. By contrast, the network aired nearly 19 minutes of coverage of trans people and drag queens.
Jesse Watters and his guest, Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters, attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for appearing on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Fox News has a history of slandering LGBTQ people as a supposed threat to children. Studies show that trans and gender-nonconforming people are up to four times more likely than the general population to experience violent victimization. With three Pride Month events disrupted by right-wing groups over just the past weekend — including an incident in the Bay Area where the Proud Boys, a far-right group involved in the January 6 insurrection, stormed a drag queen story hour at a public library — Fox News’ misdirection and fearmongering could have dire consequences for the LGBTQ community.