If you needed further evidence that Fox News has become state-run media in the age of Trump, Twitter has delivered.
On Monday morning, after multiple federal grand jury indictments against Trump campaign officials like former campaign chair Paul Manafort and foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos were unsealed, every major cable network covered the charges, the defendants, and their relationship to President Trump. However, Fox News’ flagship morning show, Fox & Friends, chose instead to cover another “crisis” concerning where the lettuce should go in a cheeseburger emoji. No, really.
CNN: Paul Manafort indicted
MSNBC: Paul Manafort indicted
Fox News: EMOJI CHEESEBURGER CRISIS pic.twitter.com/EsuXgf9RQP
— Brad Ripka (@bradripka) October 30, 2017
Fox News bbs I promise this is not the biggest news today pic.twitter.com/R9iHLyPrYh
— Adrienne Mahsa (@AdrienneMahsa) October 30, 2017
But that wasn’t the only thing Fox & Friends managed to cover while ignoring the biggest news of the day. The show also asked some of the hardest questions, like, “Which Halloween candy is the most popular?” (The answer is Reese’s, for those of you dying to know.) The show also made sure to give airtime to the salacious scandal of millennials ruining Halloween:
CNN: Paul Manafort surrenders to authorities.
MSNBC: Paul Manafort surrenders to authorities.
Fox & Friends: pic.twitter.com/7eH6HGgmRy
— Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) October 30, 2017
Following the segments, President Trump tweeted his personal gratitude to Fox News contributor Michael Caputo, who pivoted from the indictments against Manafort and other Trump campaign officials to questions about Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party, and the Steele dossier.
— That Michael Caputo (@MichaelRCaputo) October 30, 2017
Following the news on Friday that the first charges in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation would be unsealed on Monday, conservative media began reviving debunked information to suggest there were bigger scandals implicating top Democrats, like the Uranium One sale and the Steele dossier.
Uranium One refers to the sale of 20 percent of America’s uranium reserves to Rosatom — a foreign corporation owned by the Russian government — while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. While conservatives argue that Clinton greenlighted the sale after Uranium One investors donated $145 million to the Clinton Foundation, the sale was actually done by the nine-member Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), of which Clinton was a member. However, she lacked the authority to unilaterally approve or block the sale.
Additionally, $131 million of the $145 million in question came from one man who divested from Uranium One three years before the actual sale, and did not profit from the transaction. Clinton assigned her CFIUS role to Assistant Secretary of State Jose Fernandez, who said his boss never intervened in any CFIUS votes, including the Uranium One transaction.
As of this writing, “Fox News” is a top national Twitter trend, as thousands of people are ridiculing the network for its obvious fealty to the Trump administration.
Michael Boone is a freelance journalist and columnist writing about politics, government, race, and media. He graduated from Texas Southern University’s School of Communication, and lives in Houston’s Third Ward.