October 6, 2022

Fox News abruptly cut short a press conference held by New York Attorney General Letitia James after she announced that the state is suing former President Donald Trump and his grown children for alleged involvement in fraud.

The network broadcast the press conference live, but it was cut off just as Ms. James began to outline the specific crimes the Trump family is accused of.

“Some of this is really inside baseball, unless it’s your tax dollars in New York,” Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner said. “And some might even accuse it of being political because we’re 48 days before the midterms.” Then she added, without explanation: “And both presidents, current and former, are certainly looked at to help the candidates.”

Ms. Faulkner is known as one of Fox News’ “straight news anchors,” not a political commentator.

She told viewers that Fox News will “certainly be covering” the lawsuit and said “the big headline in all of this is the New York State lawsuit that was just announced by Letitia James.”

“Let’s move on,” she said, ending the segment.

Total, Fox News showed approx 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 to cover the lawsuit after it ended.

Despite Ms. Faulkner’s claim that the news conference was “inside baseball” information — implying that it was more detailed and technical than the average Fox News viewer should know — the network has covered much more niche content in the past.

The network gave significant airtime to Hunter Biden’s laptop story in 2021, which included intricate details about the president’s son’s work in Ukraine. According to a Media Matters analysis, he devoted three times more time in the program to that story than to the coronavirus pandemic. Fox News also covered parent groups targeting the region protesting “critical race theory” in elementary schools, and — though contained only on its Fox News Nation online streaming platform — aired Tucker Carlson’s “End of Men” documentary about testicle tanning.

As for the lawsuit, Ms. James said her office had sent a criminal complaint to federal prosecutors in Manhattan and the IRS regarding the Trump family’s alleged crimes.

The civil suit seeks at least $250 million in damages and a ban on Mr Trump and his adult children – minus Tiffany Trump – from serving as an officer of the company in New York, as well as a permanent ban on the companies named in the action from operating in the state.

Ms. James said the Trumps “repeatedly and persistently manipulated property values ​​to induce banks to lend money to the Trump Organization on more favorable terms” than would otherwise have been offered. She claimed that they did this to “pay less taxes” and settle loan agreements.

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