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Fox News Crime Coverage Dropped After Midterm Vote

In the weeks leading up to the midterm elections, the message from Fox News was clear: violent crime is surging, cities are dangerous hellscapes and Democrats are responsible. With the vote over, Fox appeared to decide things weren’t that bad after all, and decreased its coverage of violent crime by 50 percent compared with the pre-election average, The Guardian reports. Media Matters for America, a media watchdog, found that each week from Labor Day until the Friday before the November vote, the network averaged 141 segments on crime on weekdays. The coverage matched the Republican party’s efforts to depict violent crime as out of control, and portray Democrats as responsible.

In the week of the midterms, once voting was over, Fox News aired just 71 segments on violent crime. “I think this shows pretty clearly that the amount of Fox coverage of violent crime doesn’t really have anything to do with the level of violent crime in America – it has to do with the political benefits,” said Media Matters' Matt Gertz. “It crescendoed right before election day, and then once the election was over, so was America’s crime crisis no longer the subject of maximum concern that it had been in the previous weeks.” Fox News crime coverage increased somewhat after the shooting at the University of Virginia and the student killings in Idaho, but said “the coverage was notably less focused on painting Democratic cities as crime-infested.” Media Matters said. Fox News declined to comment. Gertz said Tucker Carlson, Fox’ most-watched host, had a big part to play in the coverage. In a monologue in August, Carlson advised Republican politicians to focus their campaigns on “law and order”, which he said would result in a “red wave” in the midterms.


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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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