Headline RoundupMarch 9th, 2023

Did Fox News’ 2020 Election Coverage Align with Hosts’ True Opinions?

Summary from the AllSides News Team

New court filings in Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit against Fox News (Right Bias) highlight differences between the network’s coverage of the 2020 presidential election and the network hosts’ private feelings and words. What explains the disparity between Fox hosts' on-air statements and private feelings?

An analysis in The New York Times determined Fox News’ relationship with Trump mirrors that of Republican leadership, claiming Trump’s base is the valued asset and asserting, “like the Republican Party more broadly, Fox wants and needs the support of Trump fans, who both dominate party primaries and form the core of Fox’s viewership”

An analysis in The Hill echoed this, comparing Tucker Carlson’s private statements following the 2020 election with his current messaging regarding the January 6 Capitol riot to state Carlson’s on-air persona is at odds with his true feelings, characterizing Carlson as a “media personality who wants to seek solidarity with the common man who supports the former president, but who has severe misgivings about the former commander in chief.”

An analysis in The Dispatch attributed the network's choices to fear of losing viewers to competing conservative outlets that still claimed Trump had a chance of winning in 2020. The piece determines Fox executives were not involved in efforts to overturn the election, but “their overriding concern was simply not to upset the viewers and thereby lose them to upstart pro-Trump rivals One America News Network and Newsmax, which were all too happy to be safe spaces for election fraud lies.”

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