Conservative news outlets avoid Harris’s healthcare speech and refer to Biden as 'candidate Biden'

Ms Harris spoke and then Mr Biden took the stage. Only then did some of the conservative networks pick up the broadcast. 

Graig Graziosi
Thursday 12 November 2020 15:51 GMT
Fox news cuts away from McEnany press conference

Conservative media outlets are tip-toeing around coverage that involves president-elect Joe Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris.  

The incoming US leaders hosted a press conference today discussing the state of the Affordable Care Act in the wake of a US Supreme Court ruling striking down a Trump administration attempt to dismantle the program.  

Most of the major broadcast networks aired the press conference, but conservative outlets appeared to avoid coverage.

Andrew Feinberg, a journalist and Independent contributor, first reported the coverage disparity in a tweet.

During at least part of Ms Harris's speech, Fox News was airing a segment alleging Mr Biden would be the "most liberal president ever."  

Newsmax - a refuge for Fox News viewers fleeing the network after its perceived betrayal on election night - ran a segment about coronavirus treatments.  

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One America News Network, which is often praised by Donald Trump for its uncritical and often sycophantic coverage of him, ran a story about the European Union levying tariffs against the US over subsidies provided to Boeing.  

After Ms Harris's speech, Mr Biden took the stage.  

Fox News carried Mr Biden's speech.  

Newsmax also carried Mr Biden's speech, but referred to him as "candidate Biden" in its news chyron. On its website, Newsmax sometimes refers to Mr Biden as "president-elect" and other times refers to him simply as "Joe Biden."

Fox News referred to Mr Biden as "Biden" but does refer to him as the "president-elect" on its website.  

OAN refused not only to air Ms Harris's speech, but also Mr Biden's.  

Instead, the company chose to run a segment criticising House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for refusing to denounce socialism.  

Though outlets like Fox News have questioned the president and pushed back against his surrogates on scattered occasions, the conservative media sphere has at least amplified Mr Trump's baseless claims of mass voter fraud affecting the 2020 election.  

In some cases, pundits have used their platforms to launder Mr Trump's conspiracy theories to the public as well-established fact, rather than hearsay and speculation.  

On Monday, Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto chose to cut away from a press briefing hosted by White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany after she began repeating the baseless accusations of voter fraud at the heart of Mr Trump’s post-election complaints. 

Despite Fox's best efforts to straddle the line between supporting Mr Trump and actually engaging in journalism, it still appears the company has alienated the ageing, deeply conservative and deeply cognitive dissonance-averse viewership that it helped create.  

According to Neilsen data from the last week, Newsmax's rating have skyrocketed since last Wednesday as Fox News viewers deserted the network following its decision to call Arizona for the Biden campaign days before most other organisations.  

It appears - at least to some Trump supporters - that Fox News has become the "mainstream media" that it has spent decades decrying.

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