By GRACE SMITH
On Monday, Michael Cohen’s offices were raided by FBI officials. Cohen, who is President Trump’s lawyer, was investigated in relations to deals the lawyer may have made to keep women affiliated with Trump quiet about their past relationships.
This unexpected and largely shocking raid was triggered by Stormy Daniel’s accusations she was paid off to keep quiet about her sexual relationship with trump, who was married during the alleged affair, as well as the now infamous “Access Hollywood” tape where Trump makes vulgar comments about women and how he could “do just anything to them” and they would let him.
The warrant, which was issued early Monday, includes everything from financial documents to explore possible payoffs to emails, which would reveal communications between Cohen and President Trump, especially during the period in which Trump cautiously referenced his extramarital encounters.
The coverage of this event is not lacking, for several reasons. First of all, the tension and controversial surrounding President Trump’s affiliates and possible crimes has been bubbling since he entered office. With the rising concern over Russian interference as well as Facebook and Cambridge Analytics bombshells, all eyes have been on the White House to not only see how they react but also how they handle the mounting issues.
Because the raid on an lawyer’s office is so rare, the story with its basic facts is gaining a lot of attention, so news outlets do not feel the need to embellish or add extra details to make it seem more scandalous, though many sites do include links to previous stories that cover Stormy Daniels and the “Access Hollywood” tape mentioned above. The issue with coverage here, to me, is not how much is being covered or if it is being covered truthfully (I believe many, if not all reliable outlets are doing an excellent job with bringing people the true facts) but rather who is covering it.
Fox News as long been recognized as a very conservative, extreme right channel. Their coverage of events differs greatly from others in how it is treated and highlighted. They may cover the March for Our Lives just as accurately as CNN or MSNBC, but follow their facts-based news blurb with an hour of talking heads speaking negatively about the cause, the kids, and/or gun control. We seem some backlash to this, as in the Laura Ingraham case, but overall it just seems to be an extra bit added onto people’s personally sculpted echo-chambers.
However, as far as the FBI’s raise on Cohen, the popular conservative news outlet has been almost silent. There are several tweets circulating all over Twitter showing how almost all major news stations are covering the raid while a screenshot of Fox News sits below with an anchor covering panda’s sex drives.
Vox, an alternative, internet-based news outlet, underlined this in an article “Why Fox News limited coverage of the raid of Trump’s lawyer’s office” alongside several line graphs.
The graphics show how MSNBC and CNN devoted slightly over twenty percent of their airtime to the raid, while Fox News barely jumped above seven percent. The amounts become slightly more even when Fox covered Trump’s rant against the raid.
When it did cover the raid, the coverage was focused on a deeper lying conspiracy against the president and his allies, often called “deep state” by extreme right-wing supporters, instead of why the raid was even happening. It is a mindset that is convinced bureaucrats are controlling the news and elections to try to shame and ridicule conservatives, and it is the rhetoric that Fox News, most notable Sean Hannity, uses to justify Trump’s controversial staffing decisions and anything negative that happens against Trump.
In the end, Fox News as long been a haven for hardcore Trump supporters and they know their base will block out a majority of negative news and commentary about their president. But this is where the journalistic decision between maintaining and audience and covering what is relevant and important comes into play and I believe Fox made the wrong choice.