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If a story doesn’t run on Fox, will Fox viewers even know it happened? While it may be true that liberals and conservatives each live in their own news bubble, Fox has created an alternative universe where all American cities are burning dystopian hellscapes and Democrats are just itching to give your stuff to immigrants unless you “save America” and vote Republican. The brand has long relied on fake controversies (for example, Barack Obama’s “terrorist fist jab”), and few are able to make sense of Tucker Carlson’s breathless coverage of “gypsies,” and M&Ms becoming “less sexy.” There are the more nefarious stories, like their coverage of the Seth Rich murder case, which ended with Fox settling with Rich’s parents (according to NPR’s David Folkenflik, “Neither side disclosed whether Fox had made a payment to the Riches or had apologized to them”).
Sometimes Fox obsessively covers stories that clearly fit the Republican Party’s agenda. Before the 2018 midterms, the network devoted a ton of time to a migrant caravan nearing the Mexican border. Republicans, meanwhile, were running on racism and anti-immigrant sentiment, and this coverage helped them make the case that outsiders were massing at the border. After the election, Fox largely cut its coverage of the caravan.
But what about the stories that don’t make it on air?