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
See more stories about...
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.

{{ BIZOBJ (video: 4904) }}

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.”

What We're Following See More »
Snowstorm Could Impact Primary Turnout
2 days ago

A snowstorm is supposed to hit New Hampshire today and “linger into Primary Tuesday.” GOP consultant Ron Kaufman said lower turnout should help candidates who have spent a lot of time in the state tending to retail politicking. Donald Trump “has acknowledged that he needs to step up his ground-game, and a heavy snowfall could depress his figures relative to more organized candidates.”

A Shake-Up in the Offing in the Clinton Camp?
2 days ago

Anticipating a primary loss in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Hillary and Bill Clinton “are considering staffing and strategy changes” to their campaign. Sources tell Politico that the Clintons are likely to layer over top officials with experienced talent, rather than fire their staff en masse.

Trump Is Still Ahead, but Who’s in Second?
1 days ago

We may not be talking about New Hampshire primary polls for another three-and-a-half years, so here goes:

  • American Research Group’s tracking poll has Donald Trump in the lead with 30% support, followed by Marco Rubio and John Kasich tying for second place at 16%. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton 53%-41%.
  • The 7 News/UMass Lowell tracking poll has Trump way out front with 34%, followed by Rubio and Ted Cruz with 13% apiece. Among the Democrats, Sanders is in front 56%-40%.
  • A Gravis poll puts Trump ahead with 28%, followed by Kasich with 17% and Rubio with 15%.
CNN Calls the Primary for Sanders and Trump
1 days ago

Well that didn’t take long. CNN has already declared Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump the winners of the New Hampshire primary, leaving the rest of the candidates to fight for the scraps. Five minutes later, the Associated Press echoed CNN’s call.