Fox News’s last-minute settlement with Dominion Voting Systems on Tuesday earned banner coverage on every television news network but one: Fox News.
The $787.5 million settlement was covered only three times by Fox News in about four hours after the settlement became public, amounting to about six minutes of coverage. For most of the day, including during the network’s prime-time shows, hosts appeared to be focusing on other issues, like illegal immigration and Covid-19’s possible origins.
The settlement remained the top story on CNN, MSNBC and CBS News well into the evening. Anderson Cooper, host of the prime-time show “Anderson Cooper 360,” led his program with the case and also interviewed Davinda Brook, lead counsel for Dominion.
Neil Cavuto, host of the afternoon news program “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on Fox News, covered the settlement as news of it broke and again after the dollar figure was announced. Howard Kurtz, Fox News’s media analyst, told Mr. Cavuto that the election fraud claims about Dominion were “obviously false” and “conspiracy theories.” In another segment, Mr. Kurtz said that “both sides had an incentive to avoid a costly six-week trial.”
The news network also published one story on its home page, more than an hour after the settlement was announced. The story included the network’s official statement and called the lawsuit “media fodder.” By Tuesday evening, the story was ranked around the 30th position on the home page.
Fox News declined to comment.
The news network had initially avoided the topic in the lead-up to the trial. In February, Mr. Kurtz addressed the lack of coverage on Fox News about the lawsuit, telling viewers, “I believe I should be covering it.”
“But,” he continued, “the company has decided, as part of the organization being sued, I can’t talk about it or write about it, at least for now. I strongly disagree with that decision, but as an employee, I have to abide by it.”
As the trial neared, Mr. Kurtz devoted four segments to the case, saying that he would provide “fair and down the middle coverage.”
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