Jared Kushner's downgraded security clearance is the top story for nearly every major news organization in America, but on Fox News, the stunning development has itself been downgraded.
On Wednesday morning, as other outlets continued to go big on the story, which broke Tuesday afternoon, "Fox & Friends" discussed it only once during a 20-second report that came in the final hour of the show.
It was a similar situation on online, where Fox's homepage contained zero mentions of Kushner as of Wednesday morning when this story was published. And the Kushner story was ignored entirely by the network's triumvirate of conservative hosts in prime time: Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham.
Those three are the major ratings-drivers for Fox, reaching a larger audience than its daytime counterparts. They are also among Trump's biggest boosters and defenders in the news media.
Fox's rivals, CNN and MSNBC, covered the matter multiple times every hour on Tuesday evening. But when Fox's prime time lineup began, the Kushner story vanished until the following morning. The brief report that aired on "Fox & Friends" was the first mention of Kushner on Fox since around 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, according to transcript searches.
A Fox News spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
At this point, it's a predictable routine: a controversy befalls the Trump White House, and Fox buries the news. After domestic violence allegations surfaced earlier this month against White House aide Rob Porter, Fox lightly covered the matter. It was ignored completely by Carlson, Hannity and Ingraham, and when top White House adviser Kellyanne Conway appeared on "Fox & Friends" the morning after the Porter story broke, the hosts didn't ask a single question about the allegations.
As the top-rated cable channel, Fox reaches millions with its coverage. The president himself is known to watch (and promote) the network like a true fan. The network claims a uniquely powerful role in the pro-Trump echo chamber, setting the agenda for both the president and his millions of supporters.
In this vein, Trump is rarely cast in an unfavorable light and the so called "mainstream media" draws little praise. Bad news, like the one surrounding Kushner, routinely gets glossed over. Tuesday's other major story -- White House communications director Hope Hicks' closed door testimony before the House Intelligence Committee -- was likewise ignored by Fox's prime time hosts.
But Fox did not ignore the Kushner bombshell entirely.
After news broke Tuesday that Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and a senior White House adviser, had lost his top secret security clearance, Fox's afternoon lineup covered the story.
Shep Smith, Fox's most consistent Trump critic, led his program with it; Neil Cavuto also discussed it in the following hour. On the network's 6:00 newscast, Bret Baier grilled White House adviser Kellyanne Conway about Kushner. And in the 7:00 hour, Martha MacCallum posed a softball question about Kushner at the tail-end of her interview with conservative activist David Bossie.
But when the clock struck 8, the network's already scant coverage of Kushner vanished entirely, giving way to stories about purported scandals in the previous administration.
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