Fox News looks the other way as the United States passes the tragic milestone of death

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Brian Stelter: How will history remember this moment?

To begin her Wednesday night program, Rachel Maddow walked through the spectators the front pages of the nation’s leading news organizations. Maddow pointed out that the main headlines across the board concerned the United States passing a tragic milestone: 100,000 coronavirus deaths. NYT, WaPo, CNN and others were all starring in that story, he explained to viewers.

But there was an abnormal value. “Just for that you’re aware, this is, on the contrary, this is the front page for our Fox News Channel friends right now,” said Maddow. “It’s like you can see a little different.” In fact, above the fold, Fox was covering everything except the death toll.

“If you scroll down and scroll down and scroll down, in the end you get – in the end they get to, oh yes, 100,000 dead Americans,” said Maddow. “In the end they get there.”

Maddow’s remark was not unique on Fox’s homepage. The network broadcast on Wednesday evening was similar. None of his prime time shows brought with the grim news on the death toll. Martha MacCallum, which hosts what should be Fox’s “straight news” program, began her show with the story of a student suspected of two murders. It took her over 50 minutes to get to the news of about 100,000 Americans dead. He saved him for his latest segment.

Tucker Carlson led his program with a monologue on “Big Tech Censorship”. Sean Hannity with live-coverage of the Minneapolis protests. And Laura Ingraham with a call to reopen the country and an attack on Dr. Anthony Fauci. Ingraham also found time for a Segment “FARTGATE 2020”. (You can’t really make it up.)

Like the President, whose Twitter feed focused on everything but the death toll on Wednesday night, Fox looked away largely as the death toll surpassed 100,000. If historians were to go back and look at Fox News on the night the country passed 100,000, they would be forgiven if they didn’t know what happened.

This, of course, is part of a larger model. A study of the progressive watchdog Media Matters found that “Between 11 and 26 May, the total number of US coronavirus deaths was mentioned between 8-11 in the evening on Fox only 11 times in nearly 36 hours of programming.” And I had previously reported that Fox had swapped a week in his coronavirus coverage to move all in on the President’s “OBAMAGATE” conspiracy.

It’s all extraordinary. We are experiencing what is widely considered to be one of the biggest stories of a generation and the country’s most popular cable news network continues to put it on the back.

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