How right-wing TV coped with Biden’s inauguration: a timeline

Commentary

Now you know why your right-wing friends say the things they say.

MSNBC used to have a tag line: “We watch Fox so you don’t have to.” Now, courtesy of a news website called, Quartz, we don’t have to watch Fox, Newsmax or OANN…because they’re doing it for us.

As Quartz reported yesterday, “For Trump supporters, the event was covered quite differently than those watching network TV. With the help of Lis Power, Bobby Lewis, John Whitehouse, and Jason Campbell—journalists for Media Matters for America, a nonprofit media watchdog group, who diligently tracked right-wing media’s reactions to today’s events—we can piece together a detailed timeline of how the day was perceived by right-wing outlets Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News Network.

“Based on Media Matters analysis and Quartz’s reporting, here is how right-wing TV processed Trump’s exit and Biden’s first official day as president (all times US eastern):”

6:39am: Fox Business guest Bob Unanue, a Trump supporter and the CEO of Goya Foods, says “a war is coming,” and claims the 2020 US presidential election was a vast conspiracy meant to usher in “the dawn of a new world order.” He also falsely says Trump won 80 million votes (in fact, Trump only won 74 million, to Biden’s 81 million). Fox host Maria Bartiromo does not challenge him on any of these fronts.

8:14am: As Trump and former first lady Melania Trump depart the White House for the last time, Fox & Friends host Ainsley Earhardt says Melania “has a very Audrey Hepburn look” and notes “she looks gorgeous, as always.”

8:27am: Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy says “nobody in the history of the American presidency has been beaten up as badly as Donald Trump.”

8:45am: Doocy calls Donald Trump a “disruptor” for refusing to attend Biden’s inauguration because the outgoing president “is leaving on his terms.”

8:52am: Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum says Trump “worked hard in the past 48 hours to finish this on a more gracious note.” Last night, Trump pardoned his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who was indicted for fraud and money laundering last year, as well as Lil Wayne, a rapper who pleaded guilty to illegal gun possession.

8:54am: Newsmax earnestly breaks down Trump’s use of the song “Y.M.C.A.” by the Village People as he departs for Florida.

8:58am: MacCallum says Biden’s plans to reenter the US in the Paris climate accords and stop further construction of a border wall with Mexico are “divisive actions.”

9:13am: Newsmax guest Liz Harrington, a Republican party spokesperson, says American voters “didn’t elect” Biden (they did), calls him an “illegitimate person” and a “fake candidate” (he’s not), and makes the debunked claim that the election was fraudulent (it wasn’t).

10:41am: As the inauguration is about to begin, Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer worries about the caravan of Honduran migrants that had been moving toward the US border, even though the caravan dissolved yesterday in Guatemala.

10:52am: A Newsmax anchor laments that Biden’s presidency will not be as entertaining as Trump’s.

11:05am: Fox Business host Stuart Varney complains about inaugural attendees wearing masks. “We would have a much better feeling of community if the people attending the swearing in were not walking around in masks,” he says. “There’s a grimness to this inauguration.”

11:15am: MacCallum insists that Kamala Harris, who is being sworn in as the first female vice president in US history, looks “animated” and “enthusiastic about being there.” Biden’s enthusiasm goes unremarked upon.

11:24am: Newsmax cuts away from US senator Amy Klobuchar’s introductory speech to discuss illegal immigration.

11:57am: One America News Network (OANN) is the only network not to be showing Biden’s inaugural address. Instead, OANN correspondent Pearson Sharp continues to tell lies about voter fraud.

12:20pm: A Newsmax anchor argues Biden’s speech, which centered on a theme of unity, was “dark” and “divisive,” and says Biden’s mentions of white supremacy and systemic racism were “overblown.”

12:32pm: Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, known for being more substantive than most of his colleagues at the network, says Biden’s speech was “the best inaugural address I’ve ever heard.”

1:54pm: John Roberts, the former Fox News White House correspondent, quotes Fox personality Tucker Carlson, asking his guest if Democrats want to destroy the lives of their political opponents.

2:04pm: Roberts is puzzled by Biden’s decision to hold a car door for his wife, first lady Jill Biden.

And so began the Joe Biden administration. The day was filled with other lies, strange observations, and appeals to Trump’s base from right-wing channels. In perhaps the most shameless message of the day, Fox News contributor Joe Concha said it was time the US media “…start doing your job as journalists, which is to hold the powerful accountable without fear or favor for party.”

Well said, Joe Concha. Well said. But have you been to your audiologist about your tone-deafness?

Now, if for some reason you’d prefer to see “news” like this directly and unfiltered, here’s how to find these networks on some xFinity systems. Check your local cable guide for listings in your area.

NetworkChannel
Fox News Channel428
Fox Business Channel469
NewsMax115
OANNNA
xFinity guide to right-wing news channels

And, of course, check back often as Around the Block reports on the progress of what might become the most beautiful news network of them all: DJTTV (DONALD JOHN TRUMP TV).

One last thing: as you’re purging your house of the Pillow Guy’s over-hyped, incredibly uncomfortable shredded foam pillows, be sure to make a last check of your pantry and toss all those Goya products as well (see 6:39am in the above timeline).

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy.

One thought on “How right-wing TV coped with Biden’s inauguration: a timeline

  1. Never had the pillow and I”m going through my cans for Goya products!!!!! Gone and forgotten!!! Well, I’m trying to forget!

    >

    Like

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