Watch Fox News Try to Avoid Talking About Cliven Bundy

The cable channel, which has helped make the rancher’s fight against the government into a national story, is mum after his racist remarks.

Part of the thousands of acres of Bureau of Land Management land that has been temporarily closed to round-up illegal cattle that are grazing south of Mesquite Nevada on April 10, 2014 in Mesquite, Nevada.
National Journal
Matt Berman
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Matt Berman
April 24, 2014, 11:19 a.m.

Now that ranch­er Cliven Bundy is of­fi­cially ra­cist, Fox News isn’t too eager to even ut­ter his name.

The cable news chan­nel has spent the last sev­er­al days go­ing over his fight against the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment over over­due graz­ing fees, es­pe­cially on “Han­nity” and “The O’Re­illy Factor.” But after The New York Times re­por­ted com­ments that Bundy made about “the Negro” and how Afric­an-Amer­ic­ans may have been bet­ter off as slaves, Fox has been vir­tu­ally si­lent.

Sean Han­nity, for his part, just broke his own si­lence on his ra­dio show. 

“His com­ments are bey­ond re­pug­nant to me, his com­ments were bey­ond despic­able to me, bey­ond ig­nor­ant to me,” he said.

But the tele­vised si­lence up to this point is just an­oth­er clear ex­ample of the cable news di­vide. MS­N­BC has seized upon the Bundy com­ments since 5:35 Thursday morn­ing, rev­el­ing in the chance to lam­bast con­ser­vat­ives for al­ly­ing with his cause. CNN hasn’t men­tioned Bundy since Sat­urday, be­cause #MH370. Fox, at least so far, is try­ing to ig­nore the situ­ation al­to­geth­er.

Bundy came up twice on Fox News by 6 p.m. on Thursday, per a me­dia search. Both men­tions were quick, and neither had any­thing to do with race. But the second men­tion, a little after 2 p.m. on “The Real Story With Gretchen Carlson” was per­fect.

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Up­date: The si­lence is over. The Bundy con­tro­ver­sey was first men­tioned on “Spe­cial Re­port with Bret Baier” on Fox News a little after 6:15 on Thursday, and has since come up on mul­tiple Fox shows, in­clud­ing “Han­nity” and “The O’Re­illy Factor.”

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