On Sunday’s edition of MediaBuzz, Fox News host Howard Kurtz covered MSNBC host Chuck Todd’s “pretty obvious swipe at this network that is based on his conception of how Fox covers Trump.” Todd had claimed that the network had “enabled” President Trump’s tweet agreeing with the analysis of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un that his possible 2020 Democratic challenger Joe Biden is a “low IQ individual.” However, if Todd had actually watched the network, he would have found many of the on-air personalities and guests did the exact opposite.
Kurtz began the segment by playing a clip of Todd on MTP Daily last week telling the liberal Charlie Sykes “I do think if the President thought there was a penalty to pay from even his own favorite channel, perhaps he would have curtailed his behavior but they enable him too, they celebrate this.” Kurtz then took Todd to task by playing clips demonstrating what “a number of Fox commentators, many of them conservative, had to say about Trump’s jab at Biden.”
The montage began with a clip of The Washington Post’s Marc Thiessen, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, telling President Trump “you don’t attack…your opponents from foreign soil, you’re supposed to be America’s chief diplomat,” adding “you don’t cite the murderous dictator of North Korea as evidence of why Joe Biden is a bad candidate.”
The montage also included a clip of Fox News Digital Politics Editor Chris Stirewalt describing the President’s echoing of Kim Jong-un as “obviously an error” while echoing Thiessen’s analysis that “you don’t criticize your political opponents, especially by name, overseas.”
Even The Washington Examiner’s Byron York, who is usually very supportive of the President, pushed back on his decision to bring up his potential rival overseas: “He should not be doing this in Japan. It looks bad and what purpose does it serve for this Japanese trip to have done this?” Melissa Francis, co-host of the noon talk show Outnumbered, also did not seem to appreciate that the President took “a shot at Biden while he’s overseas on another mission entirely and seemingly siding with a dictator.”
Throughout the segment, the chyron at the bottom of the screen read “Trump Draws Flak at Fox, Despite Claim to Contrary by MSNBC Host.” Kurtz closed the segment by telling Todd “when pundits want to go after ‘the President’s favorite channel’ for ‘enabling’ him, they might want to actually watch what’s actually being said on the news shows here.”
A study from Harvard’s Shorenstein Center found that even news reports on “the President’s favorite channel” gave President Trump 52 percent negative coverage while only giving him 48 percent positive coverage. Of course, all of the other TV news networks had negative coverage well into the 90s.
In addition, Fox News has held multiple town halls with Democratic presidential candidates this election cycle despite the fact that the Democratic National Committee has barred the network from hosting a Democratic primary debate. It looks like Todd’s portrayal of Fox News as the Trump News Network does not hold up under scrutiny.
A transcript of the relevant portion of Sunday’s edition of MediaBuzz is below. Click “expand” to read more.