Fox News abruptly cut away from a press conference held by New York Attorney General Letitia James after she announced the state was suing former President Donald Trump and his adult children for allegedly engaging in fraud.
The network was covering the live press conference, but cut away just as Ms James was beginning to lay out the specific crimes the Trump family is being accused of committing.
“Some of this is really inside baseball unless it’s your tax dollars in New York,” Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner said. “And some may even accuse it of being political because we’re 48 days before the midterm elections.” She then added, without explanation: “And both presidents, the current and the past, are certainly being looked at to help candidates out.”
Ms Faulkner is known as one of Fox News’ “straight news’ anchors and not one of its political commentators.
She told viewers that Fox News was “certainly going to cover” the lawsuit and said “the big headline in all of this is the lawsuit by the state of New York just announced by Letitia James.”
“Let’s move on,” she said, ending the segment.
In total, Fox News showed approximately 40 seconds of the press conference, while the other major cable news networks — CNN and MSNBC — covered 35 minutes of the press conference and continued their coverage of the lawsuit after it ended.
Despite Ms Faulkner’s claim that the press conference is “inside baseball” information — implying it was more detailed and technical information than the average Fox News viewer would need to know — the network has covered far more niche content in the past.
The network gave significant airtime to the Hunter Biden laptop story in 2021, which involved complex details of the president’s son’s work in Ukraine. According to a Media Matters analysis, it dedicated three times as much airtime to that story as it did the coronavirus pandemic. Fox News also covered regional-focused parents’ groups protesting “critical race theory” in elementary schools, and — though contained only to its Fox News Nation online streaming platform — aired Tucker Carlson’s “End of Men” testicle tanning documentary.
As for the lawsuit, Ms James said her office has sent a criminal referral to federal prosecutors in Manhattan and the IRS with regard to the Trump family’s alleged crimes.
The civil lawsuit seeks at least $250m in damages and to bar Mr Trump and his adult children — minus Tiffany Trump — from serving as the officer of a company in New York, as well as permanently prohibiting companies named in the action to operate in the state.
Ms James said the Trumps “repeatedly and persistently manipulated the value of assets to induce banks to lend money to the Trump Organization on more favorable terms” than would otherwise have been offered. She claimed they did this to “pay lower taxes” and satisfy loan agreements.