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Fox News ignores Trump's Puerto Rico death toll lie

Trump’s lie drew immediate condemnation, except on his propaganda network.

By Tommy Christopher - September 13, 2018
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Fox News reporter Jacqui Heinrich

It took Fox News over an hour to report Trump’s lie that “3,000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico,” and when they finally mentioned it, they completely glossed over the substance of the lie.

On Thursday morning, Trump insisted that the revised death toll in Puerto Rico was simply a plot by Democrats “to make me look as bad as possible.” Within minutes, MSNBC and CNN reported the claim in full, and pointed out that it was a lie.

But it took Fox News 78 minutes to get around to reporting Trump’s tweet, and when they did, it was as a footnote to a report on the New York gubernatorial race. Fox correspondent Jacqui Heinrich played a clip of Governor Andrew Cuomo slamming Trump for declaring the Puerto Rico recovery a success.

Instead of reading Trump’s tweet as it was displayed on screen, Heinrich said “[Trump] firing back on Twitter over his response to Puerto Rico, saying that Democrats are trying to make him look bad.”

Heinrich made no mention of Trump’s claim about the death toll in Puerto Rico, nor of the fact that the claim is a lie. The deaths are real, and the numbers didn’t come from Democrats. All in all, her coverage of the tweet lasted eight seconds.

Trump’s latest claim is part of a campaign of lies about his handling of Puerto Rico, even as Hurricane Florence bears down on the East Coast. Just this week, Trump has also claimed to have done “a fantastic job” with the Puerto Rico response, and that his handling of the tragedy was “an incredible, unsung success,” for which he is “unappreciated.”

Fox News has been Trump’s unofficial propaganda arm since he took office. He even hired former Fox programming executive Bill Shine to be his communications director.

Other news networks were quick to call out Trump’s lie, but the millions of Americans who watch Fox News were once again fed propaganda. The rest of us aren’t fooled.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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