Fox hosts Liz Claman and Howard Kurtz bent over backwards to excuse Fox News for not airing Thursday’s January 6 hearing – even after Claman directly contradicted Tucker Carlson’s attack on it.
June 12, 2022

Howard Kurtz virtue-signaled to Fox’s MAGA base with his opening question to Fox Business host Liz Claman. First, he called the 19 million viewers for the opening hearing “not a spectacular number,” then “asked,” “How important were these admittedly partisan hearings in terms of covering the mud?” As if committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney and member Adam Kinzinger are not Republicans. And as if it were not the Republicans who nixed an independent investigation and opposed the formation of the committee.

Claman didn’t point out the hollowness of the “partisan” whining. But she did make it pretty clear she thought the hearings deserved to be aired: She called them “extraordinarily important” and followed up with a shot at Tucker Carlson. On the night of the hearing, Carlson called January 6 “a forgettably minor outbreak.” Claman told Kurtz, “any rational person would say this is not, quote, forgettably minor.”

But then she insinuated that Fox News’ decision not to cover an important news event was nothing out of the ordinary:

CLAMAN: You can look at this two ways, Howie. You can look at it from an audience education standpoint, audience choice. If you look at it from audience choice - news flash, networks decide all the time to offer alternative programming. Happens all the time.

So if you look at what Fox did, they did offer an alternative destination and, Howie, they put their top two most respected anchors, Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, on it.

Actually, Fox moved those respected anchors off their home "news" network to the Fox Business ghetto for the coverage. Neither Claman nor Kurtz mentioned that.

Claman continued by coming very close to directly criticizing the decision not to air the hearing – yet still excused it.

CLAMAN: On the other side you could say, hold on, audience education. How important is it to put all of the facts out there.

I wouldn't sneeze at 20 million viewers because there were another 8 million who apparently viewed the videotape that Congress had put out and that the hearing had sort of transpired and all of that. But, as Bret Baier put it, it was a dark day, and as horrendous as it was, you know, not a "quite an incident.” It's a little bit more than that. Sure, you want to get that out there, but that's why as a newscaster, I don't make those decisions, I don't have to make those tough decisions, but you could look at it from two ways.

Kurtz finally mustered up enough "courage" to offer the mildest of kinda/sorta criticism: “Yeah, I mean, I think that it would have been better to have it on the biggest platform that Fox has. Not my decision, of course. 'Cause I think it makes a statement when you put it on another channel, fine network that you work for.”

He noted that Fox News will cover Monday's hearing, which will be during the day, not during prime time.

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