Fox News Reporting Drops at Least One Lie Every Weekday, Watchdog Finds

Media Matters published a list of “lies and false statements told and retold” on the network

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Fox News aired at least one lie every weekday over the first four months of this year among segments featuring news anchors, reporters and guests, according to a survey of the network’s news coverage by the left-leaning watchdog group Media Matters for America.

Media Matters published a list of what it says are “lies and false statements told and retold” by Fox News. The report includes a take from every weekday from January through April of this year during what the network bills as its “straight news” programming — not counting the opinion-based shows that air in late afternoon and primetime.

A rep for Fox News had no comment.

The Media Matters report comes as Fox News faces widespread criticism for star primetime host Tucker Carlson’s repeated focus on the racist ideology known as “replacement theory.” On Saturday, a mass shooter killed 10 people and wounded several more in a Buffalo, New York, grocery store after posting a manifesto expressing support for the ideology. (Carlson on Monday denounced the suspect as “immoral” and called his online document “crazy” even as it echoed many of the talking points from his broadcasts.)

Fox News also drew a seeming rebuke from President Biden after the Buffalo attack, though Biden did not name the network or any of its hosts specifically.

The top-rated news network has seen an exodus of many of its top news journalists in recent years, including longtime anchors Shepard Smith and Chris Wallace.

The Media Matters survey of the Fox News coverage, which features a daily falsehood paired with an explanation and a countering factual statement, includes topics ranging from COVID-19 masking and vaccines to migration across the southern border and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The highlights:

Jan. 12: Fox News correspondent Dr. Nicole Saphier stated that the average American “should not be wearing” N95 masks amid the spread of the COVID-19 omicron variant.
Jan. 25: Fox News guest and attorney general of Virginia, Jason Miyares, blamed the mental health crisis among young people during the pandemic on masking, adding that “children aren’t the cause of the spread.”
Jan. 26: Fox News radio host Jimmy Failla claimed that requiring children to wear masks at school is “abusing kids,” arguing that the benefits of masking are based on “very dubious” data.
Jan. 31: Fox News correspondent Dan Springer claimed the Portland, Oregon auto crime unit was “gutted” to “appease rioters” during a segment sensationalizing auto thefts.

Feb. 4: Fox News contributor Marc Thiessen blamed the “border crisis” for “unleash[ing] a torrent of illegal drugs on American city streets.”
Feb. 8: Fox News anchor John Roberts claimed the Biden administration is “funding crack pipes for equity.”
Feb. 10: Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer claimed singer Adele was “sparking serious backlash” after she said that she “is proud to be a woman” at the BRIT Awards ceremony.
Feb. 16: Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo claimed the Russian threat to invade Ukraine was a hoax from the Biden administration to distract from a right-wing conspiracy theory.

Feb. 23: Fox News anchor John Roberts claimed “for all intents and purposes” there continues to be an “open border.”
March 15: Fox News anchor Sandra Smith claimed the White House “doesn’t have any specific solutions” for lowering the price of gas.
March 25: Fox News contributor Sean Duffy claimed the American military is weak because it is “woke,” focused on climate change and diversity instead of strength.
March 30: Fox News contributor Sean Duffy claimed that Disney wants to “sexualize our children” and “indoctrinate them” by introducing more LGBTQ representation.

March 31: Fox News anchor Sandra Smith lied that a Disney executive said she “wants 50% of all the characters to be gay or they will be underrepresented,” adding, “You will have to ask yourself if you believe that represents the American public.”
April 8: Fox Nation host Tammy Bruce claimed the Department of Justice is labeling parents with “dissenting views” as terrorists.
April 11: Fox News correspondent Nate Foy claimed that teachers will force 6-year-olds to talk about genitals.
April 19: Fox News correspondent Mike Tobin claimed the so-called “Ferguson Effect ”was responsible for increased murders of Black Americans.”

April 20: Fox News senior strategic analyst Jack Keane claimed Russia has been modernizing its nuclear weapons in the past 10 years, while the U.S. hasn’t been.
April 28: Fox News anchor Sandra Smith falsely suggested COVID-19 relief funds were “spent pushing critical race theory.”